§ Mr. Robert Key
The question relates to matters which are the responsibility of the Highways Agency; the chief executive will write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Ms Joan Walley, dated 17 May 1994.434WYou asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is his latest assessment of the implications of the proposed Birmingham Northern Relief Road on (a) traffic forecasts, (b) carbon dioxide emissions and (c) asthma.A Technical Update package was published by Midland Expressway Ltd., the Department's Concessionaire, and the Department at the beginning of February this year. This package includes an update of the traffic information as well as an update on air quality information. A set of the documents which comprise the package is being sent to the House of Commons Library so that you may study them if you wish. They are:
However, since September 1990 one consultant and four contractors have gone into receivership and their contracts have been novated to other firms. Some road construction contracts have also been terminated because of poor performance but information on these is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Birmingham Northern Relief Road
- Technical Update and Summary
- Noise Update Report
- Air Quality Updat
- Local Model Validation Report
- Model Development Forecasting Report
I expect you know that a public inquiry into this scheme opens in Walsall on 21 June. Proofs of the detailed evidence to be presented to that inquiry on traffic and air quality are being made available in advance of the inquiry opening. These will add detail to the information in the February Update and explain fully how it has been arrived at. The air quality evidence is available now; the evidence on traffic is expected to be available at the end of this month. Copies of these two proofs can be sent to you if you require them.It is not possible to say what effect the Birmingham Northern Relief Road itself might have on asthma. The Highways Agency is aware that a large number of studies have been undertaken to investigate the medical effects of air pollution from many sources, including vehicle emissions. There is no evidence that vehicle emissions cause asthma but it is possible that existing asthmatics may have their symptons made worse.