§ The Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. David Mitchell)
Yes, Sir. The main work of constructing this road started in January last year, as planned. It is progressing well and should be open to traffic very early next year.
§ Mr. Knox
Is my hon. Friend aware that my constituents in Draycott, Tean and Checkley will be very pleased to hear his answer? Is he further aware that it is very important that this stretch of road should be open to traffic as soon as possible because of the inadequacy of the A50 between Blythe Bridge and Uttoxeter to carry the present volume of traffic, and the very high accident rate on this stretch of road?
§ Mr. Mitchell
I am sure that many of my hon. Friend's constituents—particularly those at Draycott, Tean and Checkley—will gain significant benefit from the new road. We look forward to continuing the satisfactory progress on the scheme. Many of the contractors are finishing contracts well ahead of schedule, and I hope that that will prove to be the case in my hon. Friend's constituency.
§ Mr. Lawrence
Is my hon. Friend aware that my constituents in Uttoxeter will share the concern that has been expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, Moorlands (Mr. Knox), and will be grateful for the Minister's assurance? Can he give some date by which the entire road will be completed from Stoke to Derby?
§ Mr. Mitchell
That is a different question. If my hon. and learned Friend would like to table a question to that effect, I shall be happy to see that he has an answer.