HC Deb 18 January 1996 vol 269 c671W
Mr. Hayes

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how he intends to proceed with the Highways Agency proposals for new agency arrangements for the management and maintenance of the motorway and trunk road network which were the subject of consultation last year. [10663]

Mr. Watts

We intend to proceed on the lines proposed in the consultation. In general, we aim to establish new agencies whose size and coverage will be based on considerations of effective management and to enlarge competition by involving the public and private sectors with both tendering against a single common agreement. We are re-examining the proposed areas and timing of implementation in the light of the decision to increase the number of design, build, finance and operate schemes announced on 29 November. We have already announced our decision on the way forward in London. It was stated in the consultation document that we would continue putting in place new agency agreements for April 1996 where current agents were ceasing to exist, as in Avon and Humberside, or current private sector agencies were due for retendering, such as the term contracts in south and west London and consultancies for the midland links and Greater Manchester agencies. These are all proceeding to plan.