§ Ms Gordon
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what was the original estimated cost of the current works at Cotton street/Brunswick road/A102M improvements; what is the current estimated cost of the works; what factors underlie the current overrun by the contractors; if the contractors will be subject to penalty clauses; and if these will be implemented; 
(2) what advantages in traffic flows the Highways Agency estimates will occur on completion of the contract for the works at Cotton street/Brunswick road/A102M improvements; what assessment has been made of the advantages for local residents from the scheme; if the contract for works at Cotton street/Brunswick road/A102M improvement is being completed to its original specification; what is its estimated finish date; and what on site works have been carried out that relate to a third river crossing at Blackwall. 
§ Mr. Norris
I have asked the chief executive of the Highways Agency to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Ms Mildred Gordon, dated 31 January 1996:The Secretary of State for Transport has asked me to reply to your recent questions about the Cotton Street/Brunswick Road/A102M improvement scheme.The tender sum for the contract was £5.1m, the current estimated cost of the works exceeds that but for commercial reasons I cannot yet say what that figure will be.The original completion date was 12 November 1995, with the likely completion date now being June 1996. There are a number of reasons for this delay including uncharted underground services, works carried out by the statutory undertakers running late, unforeseen ground conditions and piling obstructions.We have carefully considered and agreed to a 12 week extension of time on the contract. The decision on whether to implement penalty clauses on the contractor will depend on the actual completion date and on whether or not any further extensions of time are agreed.On completion of the contract, traffic will re-route from Abbott Road because there will be the provision of a right hand turn into St. Leonard's Road. There will be increased capacity on the road north of the junction and Docklands via Cotton Street.Local people will benefit from a reduction in levels of congestion. Al3 westbound traffic wishing to travel north on the A102 will now be able to do so thus relieving Abbott Road, a residential road with a poor record of traffic accidents. There will be a new traffic signals system at the junction between the A13, A102 and Cotton Street 810W with integrated pedestrian crossing facilities and widened central refuge islands. At various locations there will be a segregation of the footway from traffic with environmental screens, pedestrian barriers and landscaping and at crossings, we will provide specialised pavings to assist visually impaired people. Environmental screens will be provided between the A102 and adjacent residential properties and between the A102 and Culloden Primary School. The A13 subway will be reopened and existing subways will be refurbished. Safety is of course a prime concern and the scheme will reduce road traffic accidents over the next 30 years by nearly 200.The improvement scheme is being completed to its original specification.This scheme is a stand alone improvement and no works have been carried out that relate to a third river crossing.