HC Deb 18 December 2001 vol 377 cc230-1W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what measures are being taken to speed up delivery from multi-modal studies. [24259]

Mr. Spellar

I have asked the Highways Agency, in consultation with the relevant study steering group and Government Office, to identify trunk road schemes which would benefit from additional work to support and inform the study and the subsequent decision-making process. In concert with the Government Office, statutory advisory bodies and regional partners, the Agency will carry out such additional work as may be required to establish these schemes' feasibility. Where the Regional Planning Body and the Secretary of State subsequently agree to progress a scheme, this approach will also facilitate entry to the national Targeted Programme of Improvements. We are working closely with the Strategic Rail Authority to ensure that consideration of rail schemes is similarly informed and robust and have asked steering groups and Government Offices to identify schemes that would benefit from early assessment. We are also encouraging steering groups to identify local transport schemes for which additional appraisal at an early stage would aid decision making.