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Roads, Wiltshire

Volume 205: debated on Monday 9 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his current estimate of capital expenditure on roads in Wiltshire in the next three years.

Capital expenditure on trunk road schemes in Wiltshire in the next three years will be approximately £50 million.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that most helpful and encouraging answer. Can he do anything to speed up the rate at which the link between the M4 at Swindon and the M5 at Gloucester is increased to dual carriageway status throughout its length? Will my hon. Friend also consider the roads to the south of Swindon through Marlborough and Devizes to Salisbury? If he saw those for himself, I am sure that he would agree that they are of low quality, given the volume of traffic using them every day.

The roads to the south of Swindon are the responsibility of the local authority—Wiltshire county council. The roads between Swindon and Gloucester, however, are the responsibility of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State.

I am pleased to say that work on the Latton bypass is due to start next year, at a cost of about £17 million, and there are five other schemes on that road, at a total cost of £100 million. My hon. Friend's constituents will recognise that it is vital for the future prosperity of Swindon that those schemes be implemented as quickly as possible. They would be delayed, if not cancelled, were the Labour party to take control.