M65 Extension

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th July 2018.

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

Highways England has gathered evidence about the performance of the strategic road network, and future pressures on it, to inform the decisions we have taken as part of the second road investment strategy. This process of evidence gathering and public consultation has taken into consideration the idea of extending the M65.

Photo of Graham Jones Graham Jones Chair, Committees on Arms Export Controls, Chair, Committees on Arms Export Controls, Chair, Committees on Arms Export Controls, Chair, Committees on Arms Export Controls, Chair, Committees on Arms Export Controls, Chair, Committees on Arms Export Controls

The Secretary of State has invested in the idea of a rail link between Liverpool and Hull, connecting the east and west through the central low Pennines. Do the Government accept that a road link would be complementary? It would go through deprived communities and provide a huge economic uplift. Do the Government recognise that this is the great northern powerhouse project?

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

As the hon. Gentleman will be aware, we are already investing £1.5 billion in road systems in the north-west. Of course the M65 is, in a way, a legendary road because it ends in a carpark, and no one thinks that is a satisfactory arrangement. I would welcome a further conversation with him about this, but the situation is far from straightforward.

Photo of John Grogan John Grogan Labour, Keighley

Will Ministers also look favourably on restoring a rail link between Keighley and Colne by restoring the Skipton to Colne rail link, starting in the Government Chief Whip’s constituency? Will they look carefully at the feasibility study that is under way?

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

That is something we will certainly be looking at carefully.