asked the Minister of Transport, in view of the fact that since 1967 the Durham county council has had a participation agreement with the Departments of Environment and Transport governing the operation of the road construction sub-units in Durham, and this includes a four-year notice of the termination of the agreement, if he will now give an assurance that the present rundown of the road construction units will be phased out over a four-year period in accordance with the terms of the participation agreement.
I announced on 9 June 1980 that the action study on road construction sub-units was under way. It is a major part of that study to enable decisions to be reached on the future of individual sub-units ; I cannot say now what the outcome will be. I have made clear, in the detailed policy guidelines for the study, my concern for a planned and orderly phasing out of sub-units. I have asked all county councils with sub-units to give me their views on when the sub-units should close. I look to these county councils to work with me in deciding, and I hope agreeing, the right time to close sub-units.