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Road Network: England

Volume 670: debated on Thursday 30 January 2020

The Government have invested £17.6 billion in England’s strategic road network since 2015, and we intend to invest a further £25.3 billion over the next five years.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his promises on road investment across England. In my constituency of Workington, we are waiting for a start date for the planned roundabout on the notoriously dangerous staggered junction on the A66 at Brigham and Broughton. Does he have an update on the proposed start date for those improvements?

I will never forget my recent visit to the site of that roundabout with my hon. Friend, and I look forward to it being taken forward as part of road investment strategy 2, which is to be announced shortly.

The Conservative manifesto made strong statements about improving cycling and walking on our road network, but it committed only £350 million. That is not new money; it is money that the Conservatives promised given that other cycling infrastructure funds have now come to an end. What will the Secretary of State do seriously to improve safety and to encourage more people to cycle and walk?

Like the hon. Lady, I support the ambition for more cycling. That £350 million is in addition to the existing funding, and I think she will be pleased to back our manifesto commitment to make cycling proficiency, or Bikeability, available to every child in England.

Can the Secretary of State advise me of when the development consent order decision on the Lowestoft third crossing will be announced? This was due on 6 December, and it was understandably postponed due to the general election campaign, but we are now eight weeks further on and a statement from him would be appreciated.

I need to be cautious—it is going through due process, and I will contact my hon. Friend to give him a bit more detail.

After a campaign of over 50 years and quite a lot of lobbying from me and my predecessors as MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, and indeed from successive Members for High Peak, the development consent order for the Mottram bypass is due this year. The Department has confirmed to me in writing that it will still do this bypass as part of the trans-Pennine upgrade programme. Anyone who has ever driven from Manchester to Sheffield has been stuck in my constituency, and this is a big chance to get it right, but the project has slipped so often that people are understandably sceptical. Will the Secretary of State recommit to the programme at the Dispatch Box and perhaps meet me to talk about how we can make sure the project happens this year?

I am delighted to help everybody travel through and beyond the hon. Gentleman’s constituency as quickly as possible. I would be happy to meet him or, probably more helpfully, to ask the Roads Minister to do so.