Strategic Road Network: South West

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:12 am on 19th July 2017.

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Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 11:12 am, 19th July 2017

If I may respond in anticipation of the much-welcome but inevitable intervention from my beloved colleague from Gloucester, a little further afield, to the north-east, Highways England is also developing the A417 Air Balloon roundabout improvement—I should say that it is not a small scheme. Potential route options are being identified for public consultation before the end of 2017. That scheme will tackle a missing link in the dual carriageway between Gloucester and Cirencester, and I congratulate my hon. Friend Richard Graham on his tireless championing of that important scheme, which will certainly have through benefits for trunk users of that road coming from Herefordshire to London.

I know that my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgwater and West Somerset has a particular interest in the M5 junction 23 Bridgwater scheme and wrote to the Transport Secretary recently on that matter. Let me turn to that, if I may. The Government’s view is that it is vital that there be a good connection to Hinkley Point. The new power station—and one must not forget the existing power station there—is of strategic importance to the UK, and the Government will ensure that the road network around it gives all the necessary access to the plant and works. That will support local economic growth, housing and local jobs.