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Volume 81: debated on Friday 28 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport what policy criteria he uses to determine the relative priorities in expenditure on the roads programme of (a) new road building, (b) motorway repair and (c) trunk road bypasses; and if he will make a statement.

Our policy criteria for spending on roads remain as set out in successive White Papers and roads reports. Within the total funds available for the national programme new road schemes, including bypasses, bring substantial new economic and environmental benefits and remain a top priority, balance by the need to preserve the investment already made by carrying out timely renewal and repair work. New construction will continue to account for most of the spending on national roads, but we also intend to eliminate the backlog of necessary motorway repair work that arose in the 1970s.