§ Mr. John Fraser
asked the Minister of Transport if she will state the total number of road construction units established by 1st January, 1968, and the total number of sub-units established by the same date, their location, their estimated annual cost, the estimated reduction in the establishment of highway departments of the county authorities within whose areas the road construction units operate, and the estimated saving in public expenditure consequent upon the establishment of road construction units.
§ Mr. Carmichael
On 1st January, 1968, three Road Construction Units had been established—the North Western, North Eastern and Midland. There were at that date Headquarters Offices set up in Preston, Harrogate and Leamington, and Sub Units in Preston, Chester, Durham, Wakefield and Warwick. Further Sub Units will be set up shortly in the Midland area. The three 93W Units are being built up so as to handle a work load of some £100 million per annum. The estimate of the cost falling on the Department in the financial year 1968–69 is £2.3 million. Three other Units will be established during that same year.
The saving to the Exchequer which the setting up of R.C.U.s will give can not be fully achieved until the transition from the previous system to the new is completed. It is too early at this stage to make a realistic estimate. The net effects on the establishments of the highway departments in all the counties concerned will depend on their residual programmes, both current and future, arid can only be assessed by the respective county councils.