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M4 (Coryton Junction)

Volume 82: debated on Monday 8 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales when he now expects to carry out repairs to the area of badly pitted road surface on the westbound carriageway of the M4 at a point about three and a half miles east of the Coryton junction.

I am pleased to say that repair work was completed on 24 June.

On 14 February the Minister told me that remedial work would take place as soon as weather conditions improved. As it has taken a considerable time to remedy the position, will the hon. Gentleman look seriously at the possibility of lighting the whole of the M4 in Wales? When repairs are needed, potential accident spots occur. Better lighting would reduce risks and the danger to lives when people are travelling on the motorway.

The hon. Gentleman is quite right that I advised him on 14 February last that remedial works would take place as soon as weather conditions permitted, because repairs of this nature are best carried out in favourable weather. The point about lighting is quite outwith the terms of the question, but I shall consider the matter. I give no undertaking.

As the road in question is located in my constituency, may I urge my hon. Friend to squash flat any notion that the M4 is a disincentive in attracting people to come to Cardiff, as has happened with the way in which the Severn bridge has been hyped up out of all proportion by the media and by Opposition Members?

I am in complete sympathy with the point of view of my hon. Friend. I believe that a disservice has been done by exaggerating any difficulties that may have occurred at the Severn bridge or anywhere else on the M4.

Is it not time that the Welsh Office took more interest in what is happening on the M4? For instance, can the hon. Gentle man tell the House what steps have been taken by his Department to notify the disabled of their right to travel free over the Severn bridge, particularly bearing in mind the exorbitant increases that are in operation?

I will, of course, look into the matter to see exactly what steps have been taken, and will let the hon. Gentleman know. I totally reject any suggestion that my Department has not been very closely involved in anything to do with the M4 in relation to its importance to the south Wales economy.