§ Mr. P. Williams
asked the Minister of Transport whether he will give details of the proposed speed-up of the road building programme in County Durham.
§ Mr. Marples
Our plans for the North East, including County Durham, are designed to provide the area with first class road communications with the south as well as to improve highways within the area. The first objective will be achieved by the continued development of A.1, including the Darlington Bypass, on which some work has already started, and the Durham motorway whose preparation is being pressed ahead. This will give a dual carriageway road of high standard almost all the way from London to Newcastle.
A number of projects are already in hand, or due to start shortly, for highway improvements within the area. These include the Tyne Tunnel, the improvement of A. 19 between Wolviston and Sheraton, the reconstruction of the Newcastle to Tynemouth Coast Road and the start of the Newcastle Inner Ring Road.
The effect of this speeding up of the road programme will be to increase the total expenditure on major improvements and new construction schemes in the North East from about £6 million this year to almost double next year and in the succeeding years.42W
In addition, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has now authorised, as part of the Government's plan to encourage industrial development and help employment in the North East, a special addition to the road programme to enable the following extra trunk road and classified road schemes, involving Government expenditure of about £750,000, to be started in 1963/64.
Trunk road improvements
Bypasses of Shotton and Sheraton on the A.19 to improve this important north/south route.
Classified road improvements
- (a) The construction of the John Reid Road (West) in South Shields and County Durham, and the improvement of the A.1055 (White Mare Pool to Hadrian Road), to give South Shields better communications with Gateshead, Newcastle and the A.1.
- (b) The construction of the north-western section of the Stockton-on-Tees Inner Ring Road to relieve heavy traffic congestion in the town centre where the north/south through route (A.19) crosses the east/west through route (A.67).
With the agreement of my right hon. Friend, I am also authorising an extra £250,000 this year for maintenance and minor improvements on trunk and classified roads in the North East.