Road Improvements

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1 March 2018.

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Photo of Daniel Kawczynski Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham 12:00, 1 March 2018

What steps his Department is taking to improve the condition of local roads.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Department published its latest statistics on road conditions in England in January 2018, which show that local classified roads are improving, with fewer local roads to be considered for maintenance. There is still much to do, which is why the Government have committed record levels of investment, including more than £6 billion to highways maintenance up to 2020-21, as well as having an action fund to combat potholes totalling £296 million in this Parliament, which colleagues across the House will warmly welcome.

Photo of Daniel Kawczynski Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. He will be aware that Shropshire Council has submitted a very effective business case, supported by our local enterprise partnership, for the funding of the north-west relief road in Shrewsbury, which is the final bit of the circular around our town. What steps is he taking to ensure that the scheme is looked upon favourably?

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

I am absolutely aware of that. My hon. Friend has been a tireless campaigner for that road over the years. I reassure him that we recognise the concern that he indicates. The Department has received the funding bid for the Shrewsbury north-west relief road, and it is being actively and currently considered.

Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Chair, Finance Committee (Commons), Chair, Finance Committee (Commons)

The Government are intending to close the driving test centre in Pontypridd and move it to Llantrisant, which will make it far more inconvenient for people in the Rhondda—one of the poorest constituencies in the land—and probably more difficult for people cost-effectively to learn how to drive safely. It will also put the driving test centre in a place that does not have suitable roads for people to do the test properly. Will the Minister look again at closing the Pontypridd driving test centre?

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

One wonders if style is everything in these matters or whether content should have a place at some point. The answer to that question is that of course we will continue to look at it, but I doubt the answer will change.