HC Deb 20 April 1994 vol 241 cc527-8W
Sir David Madel

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the second public inquiry into the Sheep lane junction on the A5 north of Dunstable will commence; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Key

[holding answer 18 April 1994]: The development of this scheme is now an operational matter for the Highways Agency. The chief executive has written to my hon. Friend about the revised proposals for the Sheep lane junction.

Letter from Mr. L. Haynes to Sir David Madel, dated 19 April 1994: Robert Key, Minister for Roads and Traffic, has asked me to reply to your question about development plans for the A5, Sheep Lane junction as responsibility for taking the scheme forward will now rest with the Highways Agency. As I think you know, the Inspector at the first Public Inquiry rejected the Department's proposals for improvement of the junction by means of grade separation and recommended, instead, a roundabout solution. The Secretaries of State for the Environment and Transport accepted this and a roundabout scheme is now being developed by the Agency's Eastern Regional Office. An option report is expected within the next 6 weeks. Following this, we should be in a position to publish draft Orders in the Autumn. The publication process will ensure that all those with an interest in the scheme will be able to register their views. It is too soon to say whether a Public Inquiry will be necessary as this will depend on the weight and nature of objections received. If one is required then it is likely to be held around six months after publication of the draft Orders. Progress thereafter will depend on satisfactory completion of statutory procedures and availability of funds. I shall ensure that you are kept informed of key stage developments.