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M1, West Yorkshire

Volume 167: debated on Monday 12 February 1990

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11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the M1-M62 link road in west Yorkshire to be started; what it is projected to cost; and if he will make a statement.

Civil engineering consultants have recently been appointed to investigate possible route alignments for this new link road. Subject to the completion of statutory procedures, construction work could start in the late 1990s.

The initial estimated cost is £54 million.

My hon. Friend's statement will be widely welcomed by local Members of Parliament and councillors of all political parties who lobbied his predecessor in favour of the scheme last year. Instead of building a dual carriageway to alleviate traffic congestion in west Yorkshire, may I suggest a motorway? May we have an assurance that environmental considerations will be taken fully into account when planning the scheme and that every opportunity will be provided for local residents who will be affected to have their say?

My hon. Friend has pressed his case strongly with my predecessor and since. I am grateful, as I am sure his constituents are, for his skill in doing so. He will know, as everyone on this side of the House does, that we are highly committed to environment matters in relation to building new roads. For example, we plant more trees than any other organisation except the Forestry Commission.