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Trunk Roads (Expenditure)

Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport in the light of the construction forecasts for 1978 to 1980 prepared by the Joint Forecasting Committee of the Building and Civil Engineering Economic Development Councils published in June 1978 that, on the basis of present estimates, spending on trunk roads in 1978 and 1979 may be 20 per cent. Lower than indicated in the Government White Paper, if he will make a statement, giving the reasons for the under-spending compared with his White Paper figures.

I am not aware of the basis of the estimates. Spending on the trunk road programme depends on many factors including the time needed to complete statutory procedures, market conditions in the construction industry, progress by contractors on schemes under construction and the rate of settlement of contractors' claims on completed schemes.