§ Mr. Marlow
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many sets of steps have been built on motorway verges to connect with grey boxes; what is the purpose of the boxes; what is the average cost of the construction of the steps; what is their expected annual usage; and amortised over 20 years what is the predicted average cost of such use.566W
§ Mr. Kenneth Carlisle
[holding answer 9 March 1993]: No central record is kept of the total number of sets of steps or their total usage. The steps are provided for safety reasons for when maintenance engineers carrying equipment need to gain access to the grey boxes mounted on embankments or at the bottom of slopes. Such access might be routine—about four to seven times a year per site—or for emergency repairs which might be during the day or night. The average cost of a set of steps is about £1,000. The grey boxes house electronic equipment for the motorway emergency telephones and matrix signals.