Over the past five financial years, the period for which figures are most easily available, about £1,708,000 has been spent on the London to Colchester trunk road compared with about £2,003,000 on the London to Brighton trunk road. This latter figure includes about £837,000 spent on the Gatwick Diversion, which was not paid out of the Roads Vote.
Is my hon. Friend aware that the London-Colchester Road serves the important industrial areas of Ipswich, Colchester and Chelmsford, as well as a large seaside area, and that there is an impression that it has not been getting a fair proportion of the funds that are available for improvement, as compared with other roads, like the London-Brighton road? Will he assure me that this is not going to occur in future?
The figure I have given my hon. Friend should be some reassurance to him. I may add that over the course of the next three years we expect some £3 million of new work on that road to be authorised, so perhaps that will be an additional reassurance to him.