Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP
Secretary of State for Transport
Department for Transport
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
13 October 2005
Re: Resources for Resurfacing Trunk Roads
You will know from the volume of correspondence from MPs, and from your experience at Transport Questions, that there is growing concern amongst MPs at the wholly inadequate resources available for resurfacing major roads with materials that reduce the noise impact on neighbouring houses.
Mott McDonald, the Highways Agency’s agents, recently attended a meeting in my constituency where many people raised with them the increasing noise from the A303, as it runs through Andover. The volume of traffic has increased; there are more and more houses that have been built within the vicinity of the road, and I believe that average speeds have increased. However, we were told that, despite this, only £5 million was available for resurfacing in the whole of the country, and that unless the noise was virtually intolerable, roads would not be resurfaced ahead of the time when they were scheduled for repairs.
I wonder if, against this background, you are seeing whether, within your overall budget, more resources might be made available for resurfacing, so more schemes – like the A303 – can be put in the programme. Secondly, I wonder if you would be good enough to arrange a meeting between myself and the Highways Agency, so I can discuss in more detail the specific problems of the A303 in my constituency.