The Highways Agency has recently received a number of representations on safety on the A1 at Elkesley in Nottinghamshire. These have been made by the local authority, Elkesley parish council and members of the public. In particular, these concerns were raised by local residents and parish councillors to the Highways Agency at Elkesley memorial hall in September.
They have been raised for the last 30 years. There was an agreement going ahead before the election, from the previous Government, for the Elkesley bridge, which is a place where many people have died tragically at the most dangerous crossover on the A1. There was a major collision just this summer. Is this vital scheme, recognised as a priority by the Department for Transport, going to go ahead in this Parliament—yes or no?
It is a little bit unfortunate to blame us for not having taken it forward in six months when the hon. Gentleman’s party had 13 years to take the road forward. I do not underestimate the importance of safety. The statistics that I have been given, in fact, suggest that there have been no fatal, one serious and nine slight personal injuries between January 2007 and December 2009. If there is further information, I shall certainly consider that.
As part of the programme to reduce the budget deficit, we are clearly looking at how we spend our money on minor schemes. The initial prioritisation process for all the minor schemes in the country will be undertaken over the next few weeks by the Highways Agency and an announcement will be made on whether the public inquiry for this improvement scheme will proceed.