§ Mr. Don Foster
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what fees have been paid to Brays Detective Agency in respect of its work at the Batheaston bypass to date;
(2) what sum has been set aside in the budget for the Batheaston bypass for employing Brays Detective Agency or firms conducting similar work.
§ Mr. Key
These questions are an operational matter for the Highways Agency. The chief executive, Mr. Lawrie Haynes, is writing to the hon. Member.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Don Foster, dated 12 July 1994:A4/A46 Batheaston:Swainswick BypassI am writing in response to your two recent Parliamentary Questions to the Secretary of State for Transport about the cost of employing Brays Detective Agency to monitor events at the Batheaston/Swainswick Bypass. This is an operational matter for which the Highways Agency is responsible.As I have explained in response to your Parliamentary Question, PQ 2694, Brays are employed by our solicitors to support them in connection with possible legal action to gain control of the land on which the Batheaston Bypass is being built. A sum of £100,000 has been provisionally set aside in the budget for the Bypass to cover our solicitors' costs in employing Brays. To date, our solicitors have paid no fees to Brays in respect of their work at the Bypass; however, a payment of around £21,000 (including VAT) is about to be made.
§ Mr. Key
The information collected by private detectives on behalf of the Department's Highways Agency includes photographic and video records and written evidence of observations made. All are required to be carefully collated and catalogued to ensure that they would be acceptable before a court and would assist in the preparation of legal proceedings against trespassers.