asked the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he has taken since June of 1986 to have inspections made to the footings of motorway barriers; what defects or deficiencies have been found; what steps he intends to take as a result; what proportion of total motorway mileage has been covered by such inspections; and if he will make a statement.
Detailed inspections are being made this year to a sample of concrete post-footings during major maintenance works to carriageways where lane closures are required that give access to safety fences. These inspections are designed to identify the likely extent of misshapen footings. Any such footings found are being replaced. These inspections are in addition to those being carried out under a new code of practice for routine maintenance introduced in 1985.Comprehensive information on mileages inspected, defects found and remedial action taken is not yet available. We estimate that detailed inspections this year will cover a sample of up to about 150 miles of motorway safety fences. Complete results of detailed inspections to footings will not be available until the end of this year.I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 25 March to my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young) and my subsequent letter to him of 27 March, a copy of which is in the Library.