HC Deb 14 July 2003 vol 409 cc31-2W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many trunk road projects are proposed; [125512]

(2) if he will make a statement on the progress with improving the road system. [125513]

Mr. Jamieson

My Department is only responsible for road projects in England outside London. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State's, statement to this House on 9 July made clear our commitment to improving the nation's roads and other forms of transport, in both the immediate and the longer terms.

The Government's Target Programme of Improvements currently contains '72 major trunk road improvement proposals tackling congestion, providing safety benefits and relieving communities of traffic. Since June last year, 12 other major trunk road schemes have been opened. A number of other major trunk road improvements have been proposed, mainly through the multi-modal study process. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's announcement covered 11 of these studies. The Highways Agency have been asked to do further development work on over 30 road proposals, includingactive traffic management and other technology related improvements on various parts of the motorway and trunk road network. Similar work is also being carried out on other projects following our responses to eight other multi-modal studies within the last two years.

Since December 2000, over 60 major road schemes, often bringing safety and quality of life benefits, have been proposed by local authorities and received provisional or full approval by the Government to proceed. We are expecting around 20 further such proposals to be submitted as part of this year's Local Transport Settlement process.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the backlog of road maintenance is in England; [125514]

(2) what estimate he has made of the total cost of the local road maintenance backlog. [125710]

Mr. Jamieson

There is not a backlog of maintenance on motorways and trunk roads in England.

On local roads the maintenance backlogs were estimated in 2000 as £2 billion on carriageways and footways, £750 million on bridges and other structures, and £1

billion on street lighting. Since then the Department, through the Roads Liaison Group, has been developing better inventory systems and condition indicators that will allow more accurate and up to date estimates to be made of backlogs.

The Government is committed in the 10 Year Plan for Transport to tackling all the backlogs in local road maintenance by 2010 and is providing £31 billion of funding over the Plan's period for this purpose.

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