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Volume 210: debated on Thursday 25 June 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to deal with increasing trafffic congestion on the M25.

I am today announcing proposals for increasing the capacity of the M25 between junction 12, M3, and junction 15, M4.Following very careful consideration of the options, I am proposing to provide new three-lane link roads to run either side of the existing motorway between these junctions.The section of the M25 between the M3 and the M4 is the busiest motorway in the country carrying as many as 200,000 vehicles a day. Most of it is already four lanes in each direction, but further capacity is urgently needed to relieve congestion and ensure that this vital link in our motorway network can cope with future traffic growth.The new roads will run adjacent to the motorway and will cater for traffic travelling between these junctions. This will improve the flow of traffic on the main carriageway and reduce accidents by separating through traffic from vehicles joining and leaving the motorway. These improvements will discourage traffic from using unsuitable local roads to avoid congestion on the motorway.Great emphasis will be placed on the environment in this project. The proposals include extensive landscaping, the planting of thousands of trees and shrubs and the erection of noise barriers.All those affected will be fully consulted and their comments considered and reflected in the further design work. An environmental statement will be published when this work is completed.I recognise that local people will be concerned about the effect of the scheme on their area. Exhibitions will be held shortly to provide the public with information about the proposals and to explain the next steps.