§ Mr. John Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what steps are being taken to alleviate traffic noise from the M42, with specific reference to where it passes through Solihull. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews, to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Tim Matthews to Mr. John Taylor, dated 4 March 2002:The Transport Minister, David Jamieson, has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about measures to alleviate traffic noise from the M42 where it passes through Solihull.The Government's Ten Year Plan for Transport said that all concrete roads would be resurfaced with quieter surfacing materials by 2010. In line with that, the concrete surface of the Solihull section of M42 between Junctions 3A and 4 will be resurfaced, probably during the second half of the period covered by the 10 year plan.You will know that the West Midlands Multi Modal Study, carried out by consultants on behalf of the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, has recommended widening the M42. You will also know that proposals for a motorway service area, which could result in the section of motorway between Junctions 5 and 6 being widened, are currently the subject of a planning inquiry. Were these widenings to go ahead, both would be subject to environmental appraisal, which would include an assessment of the impact of noise on surrounding properties.I should add that asphalt surface of the M42 between Junctions 4 and 7 is in good condition and is unlikely to need resurfacing as part of its normal maintenance cycle for some years. When it is, however, a quieter surfacing material will be used.If you would like further information, the Agency's Area Manager, David Cropper, would be pleased to help. He can be contacted at the Agency's offices at Broadway, Broad Street, Birmingham B15 IBL, or telephone on 0121 678 8482.