§ Mr. Allen
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what capital provision was made available for the structural maintenance of local authority roads in 1996–97; and for what reasons structural maintenance provision has been reduced. 
§ Mr. Norris
A total of £86.7 million has been allocated to English local authorities in 1996–97, for the structural maintenance of their principal roads. Transport has had to make its contribution to the overriding need for strict control of public expenditure. There are joint arrangements with local authorities to monitor the condition of local authority roads. There is no evidence at present of any significant deterioration in the condition of local authority principal roads.