On the basis that what the hon. Member has in mind is completely new as opposed to improved trunk roads, the answer is 4.48 miles, in the shape of six by-passes or diversions, particulars of which I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Will not the right hon. Gentleman agree that, in view of the parlous state of traffic, this is rather a disappointing figure? Will he guarantee not only that the financial part of the roads programme will not be cut but that the actual construction is not being slowed up?
So far as I know, there is no question of the slowing down of construction. With regard to the first part of the supplementary question, I do not think that at this stage in the first year of the programme for the completion of new roads the figure is at all disappointing.
|Neath by-pass—Part I (London— Fishguard trunk road, A48)||0·75|
|Llangyfelach by-pass (London— Fishguard trunk road, A48)||1·83|
|Loughton by-pass, Bucks (London—Holyhead trunk road A5)||0·63|
|Diversion at Chances Pitch, Worcester (Newport — Monmouth — Ross on Wye—Worcester trunk road, A449)||0·45|
|Whaddon diversion, Wilts (west of Southampton—Salisbury—Bath trunk road, A36)||0·50|
|Thinford Cross Roads diversion, Durham (London — Edinburgh —Thurso trunk road, Al)||0·32|
So far as the first part of the Question is concerned, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I have just given to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond). So far as the second part is concerned, the mileage of new trunk roads which under the present programme it is proposed to authorise during the present and next two financial years is 264 miles. It is not possible at this stage to state precisely how much of this will be completed within the period, and much of it will actually be done by agent authorities on my behalf. I am impressing on these authorities the urgent necessity of pushing this work through to completion as speedily as possible.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the new roads to be completed compare very badly with the road proposals in practically every other industrial nation in the world?
Comparisons in this matter are just a little invidious. This road work is a great deal better than this country has previously been able to do since the war.