§ Mr. Speller
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will announce his decision on stage 2A and 2B of the north Devon link road inquiry; and if he will make a statement on the timetable for the road programme in north Devon.
§ Mrs. Chalker
I will announce the decisions on these remaining sections of the north Devon link road as soon as I have reached conclusions on all the outstanding issues. I hope that for stage 2A this will be before the Christmas recess. As we have only recently received the inquiry inspector's report on stage 2B, I am unable to say when I might be able to announce the decision on this scheme.
The road programme in north Devon, for which I am responsible, centres on the new north Devon link road along with bypasses of Bideford and Barnstaple. Stage 1 of the link road is open to traffic, and I have already stated the position on the remaining two sections. The Bideford bypass is under construction and Barnstable bypass is a further scheme where, in accordance with the statutory procedures, I am considering the report of the inquiry inspector.