Road Bridges

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th July 1988.

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Photo of Tom Clarke Tom Clarke Shadow Minister (Disability) 12:00 am, 11th July 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motorway and trunk road bridges are currently in need of repair.

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Between 5 and 10 per cent. of the department's 8,500 or so bridges need structural maintenance each year.

Photo of Tom Clarke Tom Clarke Shadow Minister (Disability)

Does the Minister accept that that is quite a high figure and that those of us who use the motorways and the north-west trunk road bridges realise that, apart from avoiding accidents, there are opportunities to provide jobs in the construction industry?

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

We can no longer say that the country has a major problem with jobs in the construction industry. Some of us consider that in some parts of the country the position is slightly the reverse. Programmes of maintenance have kept pace with the need for general repairs, and the special needs of older bridges in particular are being tackled under a 15-year strengthening and upgrading programme.