§ 7. Mr. Dafis
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much is currently allocated by his Department to road and rail infrastructure projects within (a) Ceredigion and (b) Pembrokeshire; and if he will publish an estimated figure for infrastructure expenditure by his Department in Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire for 1993–94.
§ The Minister of State, Welsh Office (Sir Wyn Roberts)
In 1992–93 some £10.5 million is directly allocated to road projects in Dyfed. Additional expenditure is incurred by local authorities using credit approvals and revenue support grant provided by the Welsh Office.
Expenditure decisions for 1993–94 will be announced following the public expenditure survey. Expenditure figures are not available by district. Government funding of British Rail does not come through the Welsh Office.
§ Mr. Dafis
May I remind the Minister of the importance of upgrading the A40 as a way of enhancing, among other things, the role of Fishguard as the gateway to the Republic of Ireland? Will the Welsh Office and the Minister support EC proposals for such an upgrading, which does not involve driving a motorway through a national park and which is a distortion of the situation? Will the Welsh Office commit funds to this upgrading, and will it ask for EC funds for the same proposal?
§ Sir Wyn Roberts
I am glad to tell the hon. Gentleman that I agree about the importance of the A40. Since 1979, we have spent more than £90 million on the A40 and on the A477 in Dyfed; and almost £80 million has been spent on the M4 in that area. Furthermore, I am happy to tell him that about nine major trunk road schemes costing £81 million are programmed in Dyfed. Six of those schemes are on the A40; one is on the A477 and others are on the A483 and the A487.
Of course we shall consider any proposals from the European Commission for improving communications, but, as I have already said, we do not approve of motorways being built through national parks.
§ Mr. Donald Anderson
Will the Minister give a clear undertaking that the pre-election promises on infrastructure expenditure in Wales will not be cut in the current spending round?
§ Sir Wyn Roberts
I cannot, alas, give the hon. Gentleman any such assurance. No Minister would ever give such an assurance in advance of the public expenditure survey round. I am sure that he will appreciate that there is going to be a very difficult PES round, but we shall of course try to adhere to our priorities.