§ Mr. Andrew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the expenditure on the bridge strengthening programme planned for(a) 1996–97, (b) 1997–98 and (c) 1998–99. 
§ Mr. Watts
Each year the Government provide the Highways Agency with an overall budget for the maintenance of trunk road structures and, through transport supplementary grant and credit approvals, support to local highway authorities for their bridge programme. For 1996–97 the Highways Agency's budget for structures capital maintenance is £130 million, and approved expenditure by local highway authorities is £103 million. In neither case are funds specifically earmarked for bridge strengthening. Figures for subsequent years have not yet been determined.