§ Mr. Speed
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will state what practical steps are being taken to reduce the time taken to replace signal gantries on the M25 339W motorway; why contracts for this work are not let on a lane rental basis; and what is the longest traffic jam recorded on the M25 in the current year as a result of these works.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
The installation of the new gantries could be completed more quickly only if more onerous traffic restrictions were to be employed.
Lane rental which is appropriate for major maintenance contracts would not have provided the answer here.
We have no record of the longest traffic jam. Significant delays have occurred particularly for westbound traffic in the morning peak hours.