HC Deb 22 January 2003 vol 398 cc318-20W
Virginia Bottomley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the timetable is for commencement of work on the A3 tunnel at Hindhead. [92042]

Mr. Spellar

I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews to write to the right hon. Member.

Letter from T. Matthews to Virginia Bottomley, dated 22 January 2003: The Minister for Transport, John Spellar, has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the timetable for commencement of work on the A3 tunnel at Hindhead. The programme for the scheme remains as we previously advised your office in December. Subject to the satisfactory completion of the statutory procedures, we aim to start construction in 2005 and take about 4 years to build the project, opening it to traffic in 2009. The next major stage will be the publication of draft Orders under the Highways Act together with an Environmental Statement. This remains on target for publication this Autumn. Current work is centred on further ground investigation involving the sinking of additional boreholes at both Hindhead Common and Tyndalls Wood. This work is being carried out to build up a more detailed picture of the geology to inform the tunnel design. If you require any information please contact Paul Arnold the Project Team Leader in Dorking office (01306 878475).