asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has considered the statement of the Wiltshire County Council in its transport policies and programme submissions for 1977–78 that considerable lengths of principal an dnon-principal roads have become structurally weak; and whether, in the light of this statement, he will reconsider the terms of his Department's circular 1/77 in which it is claimed that maintenance standards are still proving acceptable.
The maintenance of roads which are not trunk roads is the responsibility of the local authority. It is for the authority to establish its own priorities. I note, from Wiltshire County Council's statement in its submission for 1977–78, that priority will be given to expenditure on surface dressing and structural maintenance at the expense of routine maintenance—for example, sweeping and grass cutting. This accords with the advice given in Circular 1/77. I se no reason at present to reconsider the terms of that circular.