Easter Adjournment

Part of Deferred Division No. 85 – in the House of Commons at 3:42 pm on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Shona McIsaac Shona McIsaac PPS (Caroline Flint, Minister of State), Department of Health 3:42 pm, 29th March 2007

I take the hon. Gentleman's point. There are many different types of COMAH sites around the country. On the Humber bank, many of the factories have in-house fire crews with specialist equipment. Given the number of COMAH sites within my constituency, I understand the great concern that his constituents have.

Mr. Amess is perhaps an hon. Friend in relation to the subject that I am going to mention next, which is seaside towns. He mentioned the report that had been published. I wished to mention it, too. It details the poverty that can exist in seaside towns and the problems with infrastructure due to their remoteness. Those are serious issues to which the Government need to pay more attention. Those issues were covered by the hon. Gentleman, so I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister will address those points in his closing remarks.

Like the hon. Member for Southend, West and others, in previous Adjournment debates in the House, I have raised many issues. I recall standing here mentioning the subject of East Ravendale school in the Lincolnshire wolds in the constituency, and the fact that it still had outside toilets and other problems. I spoke in the House about getting funding to build a new school. I am happy to report that the new school building is under way. The children are in their temporary classrooms and are looking forward to going into their new school as soon as possible.

I have mentioned in these Adjournment debates before the issue of nuisance from fireworks. We have seen progress on that issue with the passing of private Member's legislation, but we need closely to monitor that issue because, although there have been improvements, it is clear that there are still problems and there is still misuse.

I have mentioned the resurfacing of the A180, one of the noisiest roads in Britain. I know that other Members here would probably claim that their roads are noisier. In our trunk road network, we have an awful lot of noisy concrete-surface roads, which are causing disturbance and annoyance. Some of the A180 was resurfaced, but the programme has stalled, so many of my constituents are still disturbed by the level of noise from the road.

I urge my hon. Friend the Deputy Leader of the House to put pressure on the appropriate Ministers to complete the resurfacing work. It is ludicrous that, in travelling to Grimsby and Cleethorpes, one is literally rattling around on that concrete-surface road. One can almost feel one's bones juddering and the car falling apart. The noise is dreadful. The newly surfaced bit is only a short section. The quietness is astonishing. It was only when it was resurfaced that residents and I realised how extreme the problem was. After the short section, we go on to the old surface again. The port of Immingham is growing. Year on year, there is more HGV traffic coming off the container ships. We need to be able to do something as regards those roads. It is not fair that residents continue to be disturbed by vehicles on that road as the traffic on it increases and the port grows.

That leads me on to another urgent local issue to do with Immingham, which is both a town and a port. Although Immingham has the A180 and two very good roads that lead from the east and west dock gates to the main dual carriageway, far too many heavy goods vehicles go through the centre of the town. I have written to local firms saying, "Please can you make sure that your drivers do not go through the centre of town," and they have assured me that their drivers do not do so, but we have monitored the traffic and we have seen them going through the town. That happens week on week, month on month. It is not only the traffic coming out of the port that is increasing; the traffic going through the middle of what is a residential town is also increasing. That is unacceptable. The local authority is consulting on having a bypass so that the majority of HGVs no longer disturb Immingham's residents. However, as we all know in respect of all such major road projects, that will not happen in the short term. Any solution will be put in place only in the long term. Therefore, there must be some short-term solutions to the problem. I shall continue to press for a weight restriction on the main residential road through Immingham.

Other Members might have come across similar problems in their constituencies to do with my next subject; if so, I would be interested to know of them. I have found that there is a great problem to do with satellite navigation in HGVs. It does not matter whether we put up weight restriction signs at the beginning of certain streets, because if their satellite navigation system tells them to go down such a street, they will go down it. I do not know whether much can be done about that. I fear that it will increasingly become a problem throughout the country, unless satellite navigation can be programmed to inform of weight restrictions on specific roads and to say that no vehicle over a certain weight should travel down them.