HC Deb 01 November 2000 vol 355 c450W
Mr. Sanders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will publish the criteria used for recommending the detrunking of a road; [134413]

(2) if he will publish the criteria for including a road in the trunk route network. [134412]

Mr. Hill

The trunk road network was created by and defined in the Trunk Roads Act 1936 as the national system of routes for through traffic. The Trunk Roads Act 1946 extended the network. Neither Act specified criteria for including a route in the trunk road network.

The provisions of the 1946 Act, now incorporated as section 10 of the Highways Act 1980, require the Secretary of State to keep the trunk road network under review, and if he is satisfied, after taking into consideration the requirements of local and national planning, including the requirements of agriculture, that it is expedient for the purpose of extending, improving or reorganising the system he may create new trunk roads or remove existing ones by publication of an order under that section of the Act.

During the Roads Review in 1997–98 we undertook a comprehensive review of the existing trunk road network and identified a core network of routes that were of truly national strategic importance today. This core network will remain as the national system of routes for through traffic while the non-core routes that serve only regional or local functions will be detrunked and become the responsibility of local highway authorities. The factors for deciding which routes should be retained in the core network included:

  • linking the main centres of population and economic activity;
  • accessing major ports, airports and rail intermodal terminals;
  • joining peripheral regions to the centre;
  • providing key cross-border links to Scotland and Wales;
  • classification as part of the UK Trans-European Road Network.

They were published in our integrated transport White Paper "A New Deal for Transport" (Cm 3950) published in July 1998.