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asked the Minister of Transport what is now his final estimate of the aggregate cost to public funds of the regional highways traffic model; and if he will publish in theOfficial Reportthe names of those responsible for initiating this project.
The cost of commissioned work on the regional highway traffic model project was £6·9 million. Inclusion of estimated costs for work by departmental staff and local authorities would increase that to about £8·2 million.
This project was commissioned in 1975 and announced by the right hon. Member for Dudley, East (Dr. Gilbert), who was then Minister for Transport.
I am grateful to my hon. and learned Friend for that reply. Does he agree that it might be salutary for the future if the right hon. Member for Dudley, East (Dr. Gilbert) and all those associated with him were invited to recompense the public purse for this appalling and totally ludicrous waste of money on a meaningless bureaucratic project?
I gave the right hon. Member for Dudley, East notice that I would mention him today. I agree that he appears to have commissioned a singularly unsuccessful and very expensive project. At least, we have collected much valuable data. Following the advice of the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment, we are trying to make the best use of the data and trying at least to gain some advantage from this very expensive story.