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Trunk Roads

Volume 35: debated on Wednesday 19 January 1983

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of non-motorway trunk roads will be resurfaced in the current financial year, following the transfer of another £20 million to the trunk road maintenance budget.

The resurfacing of non-motorway trunk roads involves a great number of individual schemes every year. The lengths and widths of road resurfaced vary widely. It is not therefore possible at reasonable cost to express those schemes in terms of a single mileage for 1982–83. However, as a result of the transfer of the £20 million to the trunk road maintenance budget, a total of £56 million will be spent in 1982–83 on non-motorway trunk road structural repairs.

What proportion of the total road budget does that represent? As non-motorway trunk roads carry a far greater proportion of traffic than motorways, does the hon. Lady envisage any further transfer in the near future?

The increase from £36 million to £56 million is more than 50 per cent. for the non-motorway trunk road budget. I believe that with current spending the figure is now about 40 per cent. I shall let the hon. Gentleman have the exact figure.

Will the modernisation of non-motorway trunk roads provide an opportunity to improve the general facilities on those roads, which are at a very low level compared with those of our European counterparts?

I am aware that facilities on many non-motorway trunk roads are lacking. I have been considering for individual roads schemes for the provision of toilets and safe stopping places in addition to parking areas. I emphasise, however, that, especially where a road is not a dual carriageway, the safety aspects of exit and entry must be considered.