§ 6. Sir David Madel
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will pay an official visit to south-west Bedfordshire to review the road-building programme.
§ Sir David Madel
In view of the ever-increasing congestion on the A5, will there be an early start on constructing the Sheep lane roundabout between Heath and Reach and Woburn? Also, can my hon. Friend give a firm date for the commencement of the public inquiry into the north-south Dunstable bypass?
§ Mr. Key
The Dunstable bypass must await my right hon. Friend's decisions on the road programme review. As to Sheep lane, we are examining the recommendation of the public inquiry inspector that there should be a roundabout at that point, but I cannot say when it will be implemented. I understand the frustration that my hon. Friend frequently expresses on behalf of his constituents, but I ask him to be patient a little longer.
§ Ms Walley
Does the Minister not realise that the road programme cannot be dealt with in a fragmented way? When will he and the Government get the message that Britain needs a transport policy? That cannot be formulated without a fundamental review of the roads programme. What account will the Minister take of the report, due out soon, on traffic forecasts? What criteria does he use to decide what is included in the roads programme, which he has never properly justified?
§ Mr. Key
An integrated transport policy means different things to different people, but that is exactly what the Department is producing. Since my right hon. Friend announced the decision last August, we have been undertaking a fundamental review of the prioritisation of the roads programme. The hon. Lady will not have to wait long to discover our conclusions. I announced last December—and I am delighted that it has taken only two or three months for the hon. Lady to notice—that we would review the fundamental methodology of road traffic forecasting.