4. Mr. William O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many properties are to be demolished to allow the A1 to be improved to three-lane motorway from the Barnsdale Bar area to the Boot and Shoe interchange; and if he will make a statement.
§ The Minister for Roads and Traffic (Mr. Kenneth Carlisle)
On the basis of the present preliminary proposals, two residential properties and one commercial property would be demolished.
Will the Minister consider the properties that will be blighted by the proposals, especially Ferrybridge school, which lies in an area where a 16-lane motorway will pass through a conurbation? When will the Minister consider bypassing towns? When will he stop acting like a vandal and make sure that we have motorways which take traffic away from towns and villages and not through them?
§ Mr. Carlisle
The hon. Gentleman will understand that we have gone through a thorough public consultation on this part of the A1 improvement. Almost 2,000 people visited the exhibition or wrote to us. About 60 per cent. of those people fully supported what we intend to do and only 16 per cent. opposed it. I remind the hon. Gentleman that the upgrading of the A1 to motorway standard from London to Newcastle will bypass many towns. We are also being especially careful to avoid areas of important countryside, such as sites of special scientific interest. Therefore, I strongly refute the hon. Gentleman's allegations.