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A34 (Public Inquiry)

Volume 15: debated on Monday 14 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport why he decided not to hold a public inquiry into the A34 Whitway diversion-Highclere Park scheme as his Department's "Highways Manual," volume 3 recommends.

As explained in the letter sent to objectors on 27 November, my right hon. Friends were satisfied that they would have sufficient information to enable them to decide whether or not to make the draft orders for this scheme without a public inquiry, and that the holding of such an inquiry would cause unnecessary delay and uncertainty. The highways manual gives guidance to officials on policy and procedures for use in day to day administration of their highways work. It is not intended as a statement of Government policy and it certainly does not remove the duty on Ministers and officials to consider each case on its merits.