asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will make a statement about progress made towards building the ring road at and a bypass for St. Neots in Huntingdonshire.
The inner ring road is a matter for Cambridgeshire County Council. Preliminary investigations for a trunk road bypass are in progress.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the most heavily used route between the East Coast ports and the Midland manufacturing towns is the A45, which passes through the centre of the old town of St. Neots, with its narrow streets causing terrible congestion? Therefore, there is as great a need for this bypass as for any other in the country. Will he give the House some idea of the starting date for that bypass?
I accept and understand the right hon. and learned Gentleman's concern about this matter. As he will know from the recent Consolidated Fund Bill debate, I share that concern. The road will probably not start until the early 1980s. We are now starting on the preliminary work, and it will take some time before we can begin constriction.