§ Mr. McCrindle
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his policy with regard to providing additional funds for the construction of bypasses around important towns on trunk roads; if he will consider assistance to Essex county council for such a bypass around Ongar; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
There are some 140 bypasses in the trunk road programme. These contribute to the Government's objectives for the programme, which include the improvement of the environment by removing through traffic from unsuitable roads in towns and villages.
Ongar is served by local roads. Transport supplementary grant is available to help fund local highway authorities' programmes of capital expenditure on these roads. In determining how much of an authority's 442W expenditure to accept for TSG, the Secretary of State considers the extent to which the roads concerned are of more than local importance, the extent to which the people working or living in the authority's area would be relieved of the effects of heavy through traffic, and the merits of competing bids for limited resources.
If Essex county council includes proposals for an Ongar bypass in its annual transport policies and programme submission, my right hon. Friend will be pleased to consider them.