§ Mr. Lewis
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) with which organisations his Department has had consultations regarding the Greater Manchester western and northern relief road sections M56 to M62 and M62 to M66;
(2) when the consultant's report on the Greater Manchester western and northern relief road between (a) the M56 and the M62 and (b) the M62 and the M66 will be published;
(3) when he will seek the views of the public on possible routes for the Greater Manchester western and northern relief road between (a) the M56 and the M62 and (b) the M62 and M66;
(4) if he will arrange for the hon. Member for Worsley to be given copies of the consultant's reports on the Greater Manchester western and northern relief road which are currently being considered by interested local authorities and others.
§ Mr. Chope
The Department has consulted 33 organisations on an informal and in confidence basis. I am sending a list to the hon. Member. This consultation is part of the fact-finding process leading to the preparation of a technical appraisal report by our consultants. The consultants' report will not be released to those organisations and it is not our policy to publish such reports. Publication could lead to widespread and unnecessary blight on routes which, after consideration of the report, the Department decides are not viable. We shall, however, after consideration of the consultants' report publish our conclusions in the form of a document for public consultation. This will present information and seek comments on routes which we believe are viable and explain why we have rejected other options. Our current programme envisages a public consultation early next year. I shall ensure that the hon. Member receives the public consultation documents.