§ Ms. Ruddock
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the role of local authority agents in relation to the sections of the Department of Transport chapter of the Public Expenditure White Paper for 1990–91 to 1992–93 dealing with trunk roads and motorways, Cm.1007.
§ Mr. Atkins
[holding answer 2 March 1990]: Under current agency arrangements it will fall in general to local highway authorities to manage maintenance of trunk roads on behalf of the Department. Authorities will also be responsible in general for designing and supervising the less expensive new construction schemes, normally those costing less than £1 million.
It is the Department's policy to use private firms of consultants, selected by competition, for design and supervision of major schemes. We are however prepared to employ an agent authority on such a scheme where this is justified for reasons such as invested knowledge, linkages with local road schemes, or traffic management considerations.