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Volume 229: debated on Friday 23 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the M53/M56 alternative to the A550 improvement scheme was evaluated before or after the public consultation exercise; and if he will publish the results of the evaluation, including projected traffic flows.

We do not believe that a route via the M53 and M56 presents a viable alternative. Although the question of this alternative was considered carefully prior to the preferred route announcement, no detailed evaluation is available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment will be made of the traffic generated as a result of stages 1 and 2 of the A550 improvement scheme in considering whether to proceed with stage 3.

This scheme is now being progressed in two stages. The technical appraisal for stage 2 (Ledsham to the M53) makes allowance for any additional traffic using the route as a result of the stage 1 improvement to the south.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment was made of the extent to which road usage on the Friday afternoon of a bank holiday weekend represented typical road usage for the purposes of photographs included in consultation on the A550 road improvement scheme.

The photograph was used as an illustration of congestion that can occur. The A550 improvements have been evaluated against forecast annual average daily traffic flows in the design year 2012.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason a question asking for views on whether a new road was required did not form part of the public consultation for the A550 improvement scheme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will provide full details of the rail schemes assessed as an alternative to the A550 improvement scheme, including the routes assessed, their cost, and the projected changes in rail traffic associated with each alternative.

No rail schemes have been assessed as possible alternatives to the A550 improvement scheme. Rail would not be a practicable option given the alignment of existing track in the area, which does not run in parallel with the A550 to Ledsham and beyond.