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Bypass Construction

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations he has received on the decision-making procedures for constructing bypasses under the 10-year transport plan. [5512]

Mr. Jamieson: My Department receives a large number of representations about the construction of bypasses, from a wide variety of organisations and individuals. Many of these refer to the decision-making processes involved.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement about the procedures for reaching decisions on the construction of bypasses made under the 10-year transport plan. [5513]

Mr. Jamieson: The final decision on the construction of major road schemes, including bypasses, rests with the Secretary of State. Major schemes will generally emerge in future from the Multi-Modal and Road Based Studies commissioned following the Roads Review and from decisions taken by regional planning bodies in drawing up their regional transport strategies as part of regional planning guidance on which they will submit recommendations to the Secretary of State. Plans for bypasses may also be submitted by local authorities as part of their local transport plans, decisions on which will also be announced by the Secretary of State as part of the local transport settlement.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions to whom the regional planning authority is accountable for reaching its decisions on the construction of bypasses under the 10-year transport plan. [5514]

Mr. Jamieson: Regional planning machinery varies by region. In Yorkshire and the Humber the Regional Assembly for Yorkshire and the Humberside is the regional planning body and is accountable to its member local authorities and, therefore, indirectly to local electors. The final decision on the construction of bypasses rests with the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the procedures for the construction of bypasses under the 10-year transport plan. [5272]

Mr. Jamieson: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Libraries of the House.

Stansted Airport

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what research his Department has commissioned into the spatial and economic impact of Stansted airport's growth since 1997. [5496]

Mr. Jamieson: I am unaware of any such research commissioned by my Department. The airport's owners, BAA, in preparation for the proposed development at Stansted, have commissioned reviews of both the spatial and economic effects of the airport.

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Urban White Paper

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on his plans for implementing the Urban White Paper. [5498]

Ms Keeble: The implementation plan issued in March this year sets out how a wide range of initiatives across government are supporting the objectives of the Urban White Paper. This is available on my Department's website. Significant progress has already been made in delivering the measures listed in the plan. We are also working closely with towns and cities across the country to take forward the urban agenda. These efforts will feed into a proposed Urban summit in 2002 to assess progress in bringing about change and celebrate success, and a State of the Cities report in 2005.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many recommendations of the Urban Task Force report entitled "Towards an Urban Renaissance" have been implemented since it was published. [5499]

Ms Keeble: The Government have endorsed the principles behind all of the recommendations in Lord Rogers' report and in the large majority of cases have accepted them either in full or in part. We have set out our response to each recommendation in the Annexe to the Urban White Paper.

M11

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what research his Department has commissioned on the development prospects of the M11 motorway corridor since 1997. [5500]

Mr. Jamieson: My Department is contributing to a study into strategic land-use development and transport issues in the London-Stansted-Cambridge sub-region, including the M11 corridor, which started in May 2001. The aim of the study is to formulate sustainable options for the longer-term spatial development of the study area to inform future regional and local strategies.

A30/A303

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on his policy on the upgrading of the A30 and A303. [5492]

Mr. Jamieson: There are no proposals to upgrade this important route at the moment. However, there are a number of major improvements that are on hold pending the outcome of the London to the South-West and South Wales Multi-Modal Study, which will report next year. The emerging strategy of this study has identified the need to improve this route, the precise nature of these improvements will be set out in their final report.

A35

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on his policy on the upgrading of the A35 in east Devon. [5493]

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 537W

Mr. Jamieson: It is for the Regional Assembly to identify improvements to the trunk road network in line with their Regional Transport Strategy. The Highways Agency, however, is currently carrying out a Route Management Strategy study on the A35, as well as the A30 and A31, between Exeter and Southampton. The study is not about building new roads but about making best use of the trunk roads we already have.

Road Designation

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what criteria are applied in designating principal roads and principal destinations; [5521]

Mr. Jamieson: Principal roads are the highest classification of local authority road. Decisions on their designation are based on whether the road is essential for traffic and whether it occupies a sufficiently important place in the national road system to justify central Government interest in its development. There are several principal roads on the Isle of Wight. Ministers have not received recent requests for reclassification of these roads. The Government do not have a designation of "principal destination".

Primary routes and primary destinations are a separate classification from principal roads. Primary routes are defined as routes which provide the most satisfactory route for through traffic between places of traffic importance. Places of traffic importance are known as primary destinations. There are no primary routes or primary destinations on the Isle of Wight. The Government office of the south-east regularly updates the primary route network and primary destinations, taking account of requests for redesignation by local highway authorities. No recent requests have been received in respect of the Isle of Wight.

South-East Region

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions for what reason Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are included in the Government's South-East region. [5100]

Dr. Whitehead [holding answer 19 July 2001]: Until 1994, and the creation of the Government Offices (GOs), Hampshire and the Isle of Wight had been part of the South-East standard region. That had been the position since at least 1974, when the English standard regions were established following local government reorganisation.

When the GO South-East region was defined in 1994, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were therefore included. Since 1994, the GO boundaries have become increasingly well established, reflecting the Government's commitment, in the "Modernising Government" White Paper, that, where possible, all Government bodies should align with GO boundaries. This need for coterminosity of regional boundaries based on existing GO configurations was also reinforced in the report by the Cabinet Office's Performance and Innovation Unit in 2000.

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 538W

Wessex

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what requests he has received that Wessex should not be partitioned between the South-East and South-West regions. [5079]

Dr. Whitehead [holding answer 19 July 2001]: We have no record of any formal representations to the effect that Wessex should not be "partitioned" between the South-East and South-West regions.


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