§ Mr. Hill
[holding answer 2 March 2000]I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr. Peter Nutt, to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Mr. Peter Nutt to Mr. Crispin Blunt, dated 7 March 2000]:The Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions has asked me to reply to your question about the estimated cost of resurfacing the M25 between junctions 8 and 9 in porous asphalt, a distance of approximately 11km.When I wrote to you on 28 February in response to your question about resurfacing the M25 between junctions 8 and 10 in porous asphalt our Agents initial estimate was given as £14m. That estimate 598W was based on the assumption that no other work beyond a simple overlay of porous asphalt would be necessary. I regret that this assumption has proved incorrect in the light of further work.A more detailed survey and analysis has ow been completed and has identified the need for additional works if an overlay is to be successfully applied. The existing concrete carriageway, consisting of a series of individual concrete slabs, would need additional work to stabilise it so that small movements in the joints between the slabs did not cause the overlay immediately above the joints to crack. Once cracks form in porous asphalt, the road surface disintegrates very quickly. The overlay would also have to be thicker for the same reason. The extra thickness of the overlay would also make it necessary to raise long lengths of safety fencing to maintain its effectiveness. All this would increase the time taken to complete the work and the costs of the associated traffic management.Based upon this more detailed work, our estimate for the cost of resurfacing the M25 between junctions 8 and 9 with porous asphalt is around £18 million, with our estimate for applying it between junctions 8 and 10 now being £34 million. I am sorry for supplying information previously which was so misleading.Should you require further information, please contact the Highways Agency's Area 3 Team Leader, John Rylett, in our Dorking office on 01306 878251.