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Roads: Mid Sussex

Volume 627: debated on Thursday 13 July 2017

I will also attempt to keep Keats and Coleridge out of this answer.

Mid Sussex will benefit from the investment of over £100 million on local road maintenance and small-scale transport schemes in West Sussex County Council up to 2021. In addition, the county benefits from access to £304 million-worth of local growth funding over the same period which has been secured by the Coast to Capital local enterprise partnership.

Mid Sussex is greatly looking forward to the Secretary of State’s visit in early September to see the serious problems we have on the roads. Does the Minister agree that it is cardinally bad, rotten government to go on pushing housing into constituencies such as mine without investing in the infrastructure there in the first place? It is not a matter for West Sussex County Council; it is a matter for Mid Sussex District Council, which cannot go on accepting this volume of house building without a significant investment in dealing with these major bottlenecks on the roads.

My right hon. Friend has made his point eloquently. All I would say is that the major roads network that we announced last week, along with the bypass fund, is specifically designed to be part of a wider strategy whose purpose is to provide the infrastructure that new housing development requires. That should be part of the solution for any of these schemes.

Order. This question has been narrowly confined to Mid Sussex, from which the right hon. Gentleman’s Warley constituency is a considerable distance away. If he is going to focus his question exclusively on Mid Sussex, not “and elsewhere” or “and other places”, we will hear him.

Mid Sussex. Does the Minister accept that the road system to Mid Sussex would be considerably improved if money was diverted from the ever-deepening, bottomless pit of HS2, thus enabling those projects to move forward much more quickly? May I join my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr Skinner) in calling for a reassessment of this increasingly troubled scheme?

Mr Speaker, it is a mark of your grace that you were able to allow the right hon. Gentleman to proceed with a question so evidently unrelated to the issue, so much so that he was not able to make it to the actual name of the constituency or the area concerned, although that came in the first 10 seconds of his question. The answer to his question, if I may dignify it with an answer, is that there will be plenty of investment in both sides of that equation.