Given the abject complacency of that response, will not the Secretary of State take note of the deepening anger among people in the south-east at how chronically worsening congestion is poisoning the environment, damaging business and driving the public slowly—in many cases, stationarily—round the bend? Does he accept that the way to tackle the congestion is through measures to halt the relentless increase in car use, and that that will be achieved only through a proper plan for transport throughout the south-east which stresses the investment needs of railways, buses, cycling and proper traffic management and achieves the right balance between car use and public transport?
I should have thought that the hon. Gentleman would be the last hon. Member to ask such a supplementary question, as I understand that he represents Cowley. I should have thought that people would prefer to be in work rather than out of it, including the hon. Gentleman's constituents. His suggestions would probably have deleterious effect on his constituency. I am trying to provide a decent road infrastructure in the south-east, and we are doing a great deal in Oxfordshire.
Does my right hon. Friend agree that the extensive package of new road building that he recently announced will be of great benefit to the south-east? Will he acknowledge, however, that it is on minor roads in constituencies such as mine that great difficulties are experienced? Will he do what he can to work more closely with West Sussex county council—his hon. Friend the Minister has been doing so—and view favourably any further requests for transport supplementary grant?
I agree with my hon. Friend about the importance of local roads and I will certainly look with sympathy at anything that West Sussex suggests. I know from meetings with my hon. Friend and other Sussex Members that they attach great importance to this issue and I shall certainly examine it.