§ Sir David Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made on the clearance work for the Newbury bypass. 
§ Mr. Watts
The Highways Agency has completed the tree felling stage of the clearance work. A few trees remain on site, some of which harbour wildlife, which 231W will not be disturbed until later in the year—in compliance with environmental legislation. Furthermore, some 85 per cent. of felled trees have been cleared from the site.
The sheriff has completed all necessary evictions of protesters from camps along the route.
Six tenders have been received for the main works contract and we expect to award the contract in the near future. Work will start towards the middle of the year with the aim of opening the bypass in the summer of 1998.