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Strategic Importance of the A5

Volume 723: debated on Thursday 24 November 2022

15. What assessment his Department has made of the strategic importance of the A5 in the midlands to the national economy and transport network. (902395)

The Department and I recognise the significant strategic importance of the A5 to both the regional and national economy, which is why we continue to work with regional partners such as Midlands Connect to consider options to improve the route as part of our third road investment strategy—RIS3—investment plans.

I am grateful to the Minister for his encouragement on the strategic importance of the A5, because its improvement has political support from the parishes all the way to MPs of all colours. Economically, improving the A5 will drive our growth and, strategically, will deliver houses and prosperity in my area. Is he aware of Midlands Connect’s most recent report, which shows that, on average, there are 36 accidents on the road every year, and that one in five is serious? Will he meet me to discuss that as another reason why the A5 must be improved?

I thank my hon. Friend for highlighting the report to me. I have seen it, and I will ensure that my officials consider it as part of the body of evidence to support the case for improvements to the A5. I would also be delighted to meet him and other colleagues to discuss this matter further.

On all A roads, as with the A5, there is a need for rapid charge points, but more widely we need more public charging points, as only 800 are currently being delivered per month. Will the Secretary of State update this House on his meetings with the Business Secretary on delivering this priority?

Meetings are in progress, and we will look further at this strategy and how we can more rapidly roll out electric vehicle charging points across the country, including rapid charge points, which are being rolled out to our motorway service station network as well.