A10 (Buntingford Bypass)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th June 1980.

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Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East 12:00 am, 25th June 1980

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is yet in a position to make a statement as to the projected Buntingford bypass on the trunk road A10 and the timetabling of the implementation of this project.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

Buntingford bypass is among schemes in the main trunk road programme for 1984 onwards.

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

My constituents no doubt will be grateful, after waiting so long for this crumb of comfort, that their bypass is at least included, but inevitably there will be some disappointment that it has such a delayed classification. Will my hon. and learned Friend undertake to expedite matters, as far as he can, for the provision of the bypass before the traffic thundering down the picturesque Buntingford High Street finally shatters the listed buildings that flank it, and the sensibilities of my constituents who live and work there?

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

I am glad to be able to reassure my right hon. and learned Friend that the bypass has not been deferred in any way. It remains in the main programme for 1984 onwards and that is the only practicable estimate of time that we could put upon it. It may appear to be deferred because the date, like that for many other schemes, is somewhat later than that in the last Government's White Paper. That is because that White Paper was full of over-optimistic dates, setting out targets for specific schemes that could not be achieved. Buntingford is being proceeded with as quickly as possible and it has not been deferred in any way.

Photo of John Prescott John Prescott , Kingston upon Hull East

Since the Government's policy is to give greater priority to motorways than bypasses—which will aggravate the problems for many towns—will he be sympathetic to any restrictions placed on traffic going into those areas?

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

I refute entirely the suggestion contained in some newspaper reports that we are giving priority to motorways as opposed to bypasses. We have inherited important major schemes, such as the M25 around London, which are taking a large proportion of the funds over the next few years. Our change of policy and change of emphasis is to bring forward more bypasses of historic towns and villages, and as we get the major motorway programmes behind us, that will be the emerging pattern of road construction in the future.

Photo of Sir Archie Hamilton Sir Archie Hamilton , Epsom and Ewell

May I refer to my hon. and learned Friend's reference to the M25? He has now had the inspector's report for the Leatherhead-Ashtead intersection. When can we expect a decision on that?

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

I do not have to tell my hon. Friend, whose constituency is involved, that this is an extremely difficult inquiry giving rise to a difficult decision. But we expect a decision very soon.