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South Humberside (Road Construction)

Volume 931: debated on Wednesday 11 May 1977

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11.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about the road construction programme on the south bank of the Humber.

The whole of the M180 South Humberside motorway from Thorne to east of Brigg is now under construction and is expected to be completed early in 1979 in time for the opening of the Humber Bridge. A preferred route for the extension of this road to Grimsby was announced last summer and, subject to completion to the statutory processes and the availability of funds, it is planned to complete it by the end of 1981. With regard to the associated county road improvements, the link between the M180 and the Humber Bridge is at an advanced stage of construction and preparatory works are continuing on the remaining projects.

Does the hon. Gentleman appreciate that that is a totally unsatisfactory reply? What is required on the south bank of the Humber for the port of Immingham in my constituency, which is the sixth largest port in the United Kingdom, and for the port of Grimsby, which is smaller but very important, is a decent east-west road system. The money wasted on the Humber Bridge would have been better spent on building a decent east-west road system on the south bank of the Humber.

My reply, far from being inadequate, was over-generous, certainly in its length. It indicated the massive amount of road building which is now in progress on both banks of the Humber in an east-west direction as well as in a north-south direction. I was on the M18 last Saturday, and I can say from my own knowledge how rapid the progress is.

Does my hon. Friend accept that, although we are grateful for the extent of this motorway which has been completed right across my constituency, the granting of development area status to Grimsby means that to capitalise on the investment that has taken place it would be as well to complete the motorway network through to Grimsby and allow the county council to build a spur road through my constituency, thus giving relief to the villages of Ulceby and Ulceby Skitter, to Immingham?

I refer my hon. Friend to my original reply, in which I said that a preferred route for an extension of the road to Grimsby was announced last summer. We are making rapid progress on that, so we are going right to the heart of the area about which my hon. Friend is concerned, although I cannot comment on his second point.