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Transport Links

Volume 124: debated on Monday 7 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he is satisfied with the standards of transport links between north and south Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Recent years have seen a steady improvement in standards and more is being and will be done. A substantial number of schemes for improving the A470, A487 and A483 road links are either in progress or planned.

Does the Minister agree that one of the most important criteria in economic performance and development is good transport links? Does he also agree that there is an urgent need for a good, modern and efficient road linking north and south Wales? In view of the importance of roads in Wales to facilitate links with the Irish Republic and mainland Europe, will the Minister consider making an approach to the EEC for joint funding with the Irish Republic for road improvements in Wales?

Naturally, we understand the importance of road links, which is why we have improved 128 miles of motorway trunk roads at a cost of £700 million since 1979. With regard to the north-south link, the hon. Gentleman must remember that certain improvements have been carried out. There is the Brecon bypass and the Dolgellau bypass, and the Abercynon-Pentrebach section has also been dualled. However, we must examine carefully the economic and traffic justification for any further work.