§ Mr. Simon Coombs
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of wire rope central reservation barrier have now been provided(a) in the United Kingdom and (b) on the M4; and how many additional miles have been planned.
§ Mr. Key
Some 196.5 miles of wire rope safety fencing has been installed in the central reserve of dual carriageways at 74 different locations throughout the United Kingdom's road network. Included in this total is the 16.5 miles of wire rope safety fencing on the M4 motorway. Because the wire rope and the traditional tensioned corrugated beam safety fences are normally included in highway contracts as equivalent alternative vehicle restraint systems, and are therefore subject to competitive tendering procedures, I am unable to say how many additional miles of wire rope safety fencing have been planned.72W
§ Sir Geoffrey Pattie
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 1 July,Official Report, column 772, what estimate he has made of the likely increase in motorway capacity that the use of variable speed limits, electronic sensors and message signs might produce.
§ Mr. Key
None; additional throughput is one of the potential benefits that will be assessed during the 12-month period of operation of the pilot scheme. Reports have been received of additional capacity of 5 to 10 per cent. on similar systems already in use on the continent, but evidence to support those reports has yet to be produced.