§ Mr. Fearn
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in what circumstances county councils carry out confidential road studies for his Department on trunk roads; how prevalent this practice is; what access elected councillors of the relevant authorities have to such studies; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Atkins
Agent county councils normally undertake scheme investigation studies for trunk roads, but exceptionally private consultants may be commissioned where a study is large or complex.
Studies are "confidential" only in that full findings are not made public, but if either a national or regional scheme results the statutory consultation procedures apply.