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Trunk Roads

Volume 975: debated on Monday 3 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he is satisfied with the rate of progress in constructing trunk roads in Wales.

I am satisfied that work in hand on trunk road schemes is being carried out as quickly as possible.

Although my right hon. Friend has rightly attached the highest spending priority to trunk roads as the basis for a stronger Welsh economy, will he promote plans for further extensions of that network to ensure that plans are ready for future implementation?

Details of the future trunk road programme will be announced following the publication of the Government's public expenditure plans for the next five-year period. There is no shortage of proposals for roads, but they are often delayed because of statutory procedures and the process of preparation. I shall do all that I can to ensure that there are sufficient proposals to match the speed of those procedures and the resources available.

I agree that there is no shortage of proposals, but is there likely to be a shortage of public money to carryout such proposals, since there is to be a cut in public expenditure on roads and transport of about £11 million?

We will stick to our programme for road development in Wales, though with great difficulty, and it is our policy to give that development the highest priority. I expect reductions to fall mainly on smaller schemes, selected according to progress on statutory procedures and contractual arrangements.