HC Deb 23 April 1996 vol 276 c93W
Mr. Win Griffiths

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what maintenance costs have been incurred on the Penmaenbach tunnel since 1991; and what proportion of this has been to deal with the cracks in the lining of the tunnel. [25893]

Mr. Gwilym Jones

The average annual civil engineering maintenance cost of Penmaenbach tunnel is approximately £45, 000, of which about 5 per cent. is expended in dealing with monitoring and treating the cracking.

Mr. Griffiths

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement about the cause of the cracks in the Penmaenbach tunnel; and say whether these cracks have grown worse in the last five years. [25892]

Mr. Jones

The cracking in the non-structural unreinforced concrete lining of the Penmaenbach tunnel was and is due to shrinkage of the concrete during the normal curing process. Some shrinkage is inevitable during this process.

There has been a small increase in the cracking over the last five years, but this is no more than would be expected to occur during the residual part of the concrete curing process, which takes some years.