§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the average time taken to complete major road schemes. 
§ Mr. Watts
[holding answer 10 February 1997]: Reducing the time taken to complete road schemes is an objective of the Highways Agency. Figures taken from the agency's annual report for 1995–96 are given in the table. They show the average time taken, from programme entry to completion, for schemes completed in each year.
- 1992–93: 15.0 years
- 1993–94: 11.9 years
- 1994–95: 11.4 years
- 1995–96: 13.4 years.
Of the 21 schemes analysed in 1995–96, five entered the programme over 20 years ago, one in 1969. If these schemes are taken out of the analysis, the average time reduces to 10.6 years, showing a gradual fall over the four-year period.
§ Mr. Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the longest time recorded to complete a road scheme begun after 1979.