My hon. Friend knows well the interest I have taken in this project. Highways England is currently conducting a final review of the route options for the A417 missing link. It is on track to launch a public consultation early in the new year.
My right hon. Friend knows that the south-west is a low-growth area. This is a highly important strategic national road scheme linking the south-west with the midlands and the Thames corridor. Does he agree that we need to get on and build this scheme as soon as possible?
It is not just about that; we also know that this is a highly dangerous piece of road, where, tragically, there has been a further accident with loss of life in the past few weeks. So it is not just about creating the right economic links; it is also about creating a safer road network. For both those reasons I have been very clear with Highways England that I want to get on with this project.