§ Mr. David Nicholson
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) on how many occasions since 1981 individual lanes of the Bridgwater-Exeter section of the M5 motorway have been closed for repair; whether he will estimate how long each such lane closure lasted, excluding temporary lane closures resulting from road accidents; and what representations he has received since January 1987 regarding any inconvenience caused by such lane closures;
(2) what representations he has received since 1 January 1987 about the condition of the fabric of the M5 motorway between Bridgwater and Exeter; whether it is now in a satisfactory state of repair; and if he will make a statement;
(3) what was the cost of repair works to the M5 motorway between Bridgwater and Exeter in each financial year since 1976; and what was the cost of the original construction of that section of the motorway, in cash prices and in 1987 prices.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
Since 1981 contraflow systems have been in operation on seven occasions with a total duration of about 420 days. Records of other lane closures for routine maintenance operations are not kept.
Three representations have been received since 1 January 1987 about the Bridgwater-Exeter length of the M5. These related to the inconvenience caused by the works currently in progress on the Taunton bypass section.
Construction costs of the M5 motorway between Bridgwater (junction 23) and Exeter (junction 30) amounted to £41 million in cash terms. This represents expenditure of the order of £153 million in 1987 prices.
Maintenance costs since 1976 are as follows:61W
£ £ Cash prices 1976 Cash prices 1987 1976–77 2,000 5,000 1977–78 3,000 6,000 1978–79 66,000 106,000 1979–80 508,000 574,000 1980–81 1,946,000 2,315,000 1981–82 248,000 315,000 1982–83 1,216,000 1,388,000 1983–84 1,319,000 1,553,000 1984–85 226,000 258,000 1985–86 1,010,000 1,130,000 1986–87 1,370,000 1,460,000 1987–88 2,467,000 2,467,000 Total 10,381,000 11,577,000
Further major maintenance works will be carried out between Huntworth (junction 24) and Taunton (junction 25) starting after Easter and finishing before the spring bank holiday at a cost of about a further £1 million. Additional major maintenance works will be necessary over the next five years as various sections of this length of motorway which will have been in use for between 15 and 20 years will require strengthening or reconstruction.