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Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many representations she has received from Essex county council on the adequacy of the A12 since 2005; (202119)

(2) if she will allocate funds to the Highways Agency to hold an inquiry into the adequacy of the A12 from London to Ipswich;

(3) what plans she has for improvements to the A12 through Essex to Ipswich; and if she will make a statement;

(4) if she will allocate funds to Essex county council to undertake improvements to the A12 through Essex; and if she will make a statement.

[holding answer 28 April 2008]: The A12 through Essex is considered to be primarily of regional importance. Decisions on such schemes are made on the basis of advice from regional bodies, including the Regional Assembly and the Regional Development Agency, on the priorities for funding within an indicative budget. The advice provided by the East of England regional bodies in 2006, which Ministers have accepted, did not prioritise any A12 schemes in the period to 2016.

The Government intend, by the summer, to invite each region to carry out a further review of its funding priorities. This will provide an opportunity for those who support improvements to the A12 to press their case within the region.

Officials in the department have regular meetings with Essex county council and have received correspondence over the period in question from both individual councillors and the council itself.