23. Mr. John Mark Taylor
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on proposals for a northern relief route for the midland links motorway.
§ Mrs. Chalker
There is an urgent need to relieve the overcrowded M6 where it runs through the west midlands conurbation. Last year we consulted the public on a number of alternative routes for a high standard relief road around the north of the conurbation. All the routes would provide a good return on the investment. We received a wide variety of views as to the best route. The issues on such a major scheme are complex and selecting a preferred route is taking longer than expected but I am hopeful that we shall be able to make an announcement on this very important scheme fairly soon.