§ Mr. Fearn
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Southport of 2 February,Official Report, column 368, he will give an estimate of the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions he anticipates as a result of his Department's road building programme.
§ Mr. Atkins
The emphasis of the expanded road programme is on schemes to relieve congestion. In congested conditions, with slow-moving or stop-start traffic, vehicle engines are significantly less fuel efficient than in free-flowing conditions. The trunk road programme will therefore lead to lower emissions than would be the case if additional road capacity was not provided. However, the actual level of future emissions will depend on a number of factors such as the growth and distribution of traffic, the progress of individual road schemes and the progress of the many other initiatives being undertaken to reduce vehicle emissions. The net effect of these factors cannot be predicted at this stage.