asked the Secretary of State for Transport when the public inquiry into the Okehampton bypass started; when it ended; how much it cost; when the report is expected; and if he will make a statement.
The inquiry opened on 1 May 1979 and closed on 4 February 1980. The cost of holding the inquiry, that is, the hall, furniture, equipment, and of the inspector, including preparation of the report, is likely to be about £70,000. We can make no meaningful estimate of the Department's staff costs or the costs of other parties at the inquiry. I shall be writing to the hon. Member.The inspector's report is expected this summer, and my right hon. Friends will reach a decision as soon as possible.