§ Mrs. Beckett
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the total cost of the traffic cones hotline to date; and what is the precise purpose of the hotline.
§ Mr. Key
Separate costs of the cones hotline are not available since they have been met from the existing running costs budget. No staff have been employed exclusively on hotline activity.
The purpose of the hotline is to enable road users to complain to the Department if they see parts of the trunk road and motorway network which appear to have been coned off unnecessarily. The complaint is then followed up within the Department.
In most cases there will be a good reason, although not necessarily an obvious one, for the cones to be in place, and the Department undertakes on request to provide a written explanation of what it is. If there is no good reason, the Department undertakes to get the cones removed.