§ Mr. Don Foster
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what measures he has taken to ascertain whether increase in volumes of traffic resulting from the improvements to the A46 from Upper Swainswick to Tormarton, together with the Swainswick Batheaston bypass will cause pollution in the centre of Bath to exceed European Union limits;
(2) what are his Department's predictions for increases in numbers of vehicles per day, through Bath once the Upper Swainswick to Tormarton road scheme has been completed;
(3) what is the current cost benefit analysis of the Swainswick section of the Swainswick-Batheaston bypass.
§ Mr. Key
These questions are operational matters for the Highways Agency. The chief executive, Mr. Lawrie Haynes, is writing to the hon. Member.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Don Foster, dated 22 June 1994:Trunk roads around BathA4/A46 Batheaston/Swainswick bypass andUpper Swainswick-Tormarton improvementI am writing in response to your three recent Parliamentary Questions to the Secretary of State for Transport about trunk road schemes near Bath. These are matters for which the Highways Agency is now responsible. Perhaps I may take your three questions in turn.Question 2648—What is the current cost benefit analysis of the Swainswick section of the Swainswick/Batheaston Bypass?Answer—The benefit to cost ratio for the Batheaston/Swainswick Bypass is 1.32:1. However, there are no figures available for just the Swainswick section as the analyses undertaken were concerned with the whole of the scheme.Question 2647—What are the predictions for increases in numbers of vehicles per day, through Bath, once the Upper Swainswick to Tormarton road scheme has been complete?Answer—The trunk road improvements will improve access to Bath, but through north/south traffic must still cross Cleveland Bridge. The amount of traffic with a destination in Bath is unlikely to change but some redistribution on roads within Bath may occur. It will continue to be limited by the traffic restraint measures imposed by the Highway Authority and the number of parking spaces provided in the city. In the longer term we see the A36 East of Bath to Beckington scheme in combination with Batheaston and Swainswick bypasses helping through traffic to avoid Bath.Question 2646—What measures have been taken to ascertain whether increase in volumes of traffic resulting from the improvements to the A46 from Upper Swainswick to Tormarton, together with the Swainswick/Batheaston bypass will cause pollution in the centre of Bath to exceed European Union limits?Answer—A traffic study has indicated up to 600 vehicles per day may transfer from other routes within Bath to the London 243W Road West as indicated in Mr. Nutt's letter of 28 March 1994. This will have no measurable effect on pollution in the centre of Bath.Construction work on the Batheaston-Swainswick bypass started in March this year. The work is programmed for completion in 1996. Development of the Swainswick Tormarton improvement is at a comparatively early stage, and is subject to the satisfactory completion of the statutory procedures and the availability of funds.