§ Mr. Snape
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether, when the inspector's report on the inquiry into the M40 Oxford-Birmingham motorway is submitted to him, he will place the duty of evaluating and preparing submissions to him on the report and decision in the hands of a separate part of his Department which has had no connection with the promotion of that scheme or with its justification and defence at the public inquiry.
§ Mrs. Chalker
My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Transport and for the Environment received the independent inspector's report in May. A decision should be announced around the end of the year. It has been established in case law that making use of the technical and factual expertise of officials who have an intimate knowledge of the proposals and the objections to them is a correct part of the decision-making process.