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Roads Review

Volume 593: debated on Thursday 3 September 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Statement on the Roads Review by the Lord Whitty on 31 July (

Official Report, cols. 1741–45), what financial support will be made available to regional planning conferences which undertake consideration of the 28 schemes mentioned in Annex C to the White Paper A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England. [HL3273]

Following the roads review, 44 schemes have been put on hold pending consideration by the regional planning conferences in developing draft regional planning guidance. To assist them in preparing sustainable transport strategies and identifying priorities for trunk road investment the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions will be commissioning and funding a number of studies to identify multi-modal solutions to the most urgent problems on the trunk road network. The regional planning conferences will be consulted on these study proposals.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Statement on the Roads Review by the Lord Whitty on 31 July (

Official Report, cols. 1741–1745), what funds will be made available for major road maintenance and small safety projects, (a) this financial year and (b) in each successive year up to and including 2001–02. [HL3274]

In 1998–99, the Highways Agency plans to spend approximately £193 million on routine and winter maintenance (including communications maintenance) and approximately £35 million on small safety schemes.In accordance with the CSR settlements, the Highways Agency plans to spend, for the years 1999–2000, 2000–01 and 2001–02, £247 million, £249 million and £250 million respectively on routine and winter maintenance (including communications maintenance). Budgeted CSR expenditure on small (less than £5 million) safety projects for the years 1999–2000, 2000–2001 and 2001–2002 are £40 million, £45 million and £50 million respectively.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Statement on the Roads Review by the Lord Whitty on 31 July (

Official Report, cols. 1741–1745), what level of traffic in terms of vehicles per lane, per hour or per day, was used to justify the widening of the M.25 between Junctions 12 and 15. [HL3275]

The decision to widen the M.25 between Junctions 12 and 15 was based on an appraisal of the scheme against the criteria of integration, environment, safety, economy and accessibility using the new approach to appraisal developed as part of the Roads Review and not just on traffic flow data. However, current average traffic flows on this section can reach to over 181,000 vehicles a day with weekday flows up to 200,000 per day between Junctions 13 and 14. Peak hour traffic levels in terms of vehicles per lane/per hour reach 2,200. The problems between these junctions remain immediate and acute despite the use of traffic management measures including controlled motorway operations. We, therefore, concluded that widening this section of the motorway is an essential part of an integrated strategy to make this vital part of our core network function acceptably.