§ Mr. Conway
asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will give the number of occasions, in each of the last three years, when his Department has insisted that housing developers use direct labour organisations for road construction;
(2) if he will give the number of occasions, in each of the last three years, when his Department has insisted on housing developers signing section 278 agreements under the Highways Act 1980.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
It is our general policy to ask developers to enter into agreements under section 278 and contribute to the costs, where a direct access to a trunk road is proposed and that access necessitates special roadworks, ie something more than verge/footway crossings and acceleration/deceleration lanes. Our agents, the county councils in the shires, normally design the works or approve the developer's design. They also supervise the works to ensure that they are up to the required standards. Unless the works are minor, the agent authority must put them out to competitive tender though it is open to the authority's own direct labour organisation to put in a tender. Exceptionally, we may agree to the developer carrying out the works himself, subject to the agent's supervision.
There have been five agreements made with housing developers over the past three years, as follows: 1983–1; 1984–1; 1985–3. Works in two cases (1984 and 1985) were carried out by direct labour organisations, the first through competitive tendering and the second because the works were minor in nature and the developer agreed to it.