HC Deb 12 June 1989 vol 154 cc331-2W
27. Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what detailed studies of the comparative cost advantages of road and rail access to major cities he carried out before announcing his latest roads programme.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

The relative market shares of road and rail mean that even a 50 per cent. increase in rail travel would be equivalent to less than 5 per cent. of road traffic. Against this background, the Government concluded that the way to tackle congestion on inter-urban roads is by widening existing roads and building new roads, as proposed in "Roads for Prosperity".

37. Mr. Greg Knight

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by how much expenditure will have been increased since 1979 on the trunk road and motorway network when his new expanded roads programme is completed.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

The Government are committed to the greatly expanded road programme announced in "Roads for Prosperity". This will require increased annual expenditure which will be determined in future public expenditure surveys. Capital expenditure on roads has increasd by some 60 per cent. in real terms between 1978–79 and 1989–90.

Mr. Higgins

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give details of the planned current and capital spending on national and local roads for the next three years, at 1987–88 prices.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

Figures for current and capital expenditure on national and local roads in Great Britain for the period sought, at 1987–88 prices as shown in the table.

£ million in 1987–88 prices
1989–90 1990–91 1991–92
National roads
Current 117 105 112
Capital 1,138 1,384 1,384
Local roads
Current 1,639 1,627 1,628
Capital 778 738 750

Structural maintenance on national roads is classified as capital expenditure, but on local roads local authorities treat it largely as current expenditure.