HC Deb 27 March 1928 vol 215 cc976-7

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that it has been found necessary to close the bridges at Burngrains and Brigend, in Aberdeenshire, and also the Taitswell bridge, on the main road between Peterhead and Banff, in the interests of public safety; and, in view of the inconvenience thus caused whether he proposed to take any steps in the matter?

Colonel ASHLEY

I am aware that the District Committee of the Deer District of Aberdeen have closed the three bridges in question, the recent failure of a similar bridge having drawn attention to their weakness. I should be prepared to consider sympathetically an application from the District Committee for assistance towards the substitution of stronger bridges on suitable lines provided it embodies a satisfactory arrange- ment with the railway company as to the contributions to be made by them in respect of their liabilities.


asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the highway bridges over the London and North Eastern Railway in the Deer District of Aberdeenshire are in bad condition, and not in any way up to present requirements; and whether, seeing that the railway company is at present only bound to maintain the bridges in the condition in which they were originally constructed, which is inadequate for modern purposes, he proposes to take any steps to secure that the necessary reconstruction of these bridges is carried out?

Colonel ASHLEY

I am aware that many of the bridges in question are too weak to carry unrestricted loads and that the liability of the railway company is limited. In replying to my hon. Friend's other question to-day I explained my policy in respect of such structures. I may add that with regard to the general question of weak bridges, I am hoping that it may be possible to promote legislation embodying clauses which will facilitate negotiations between local authorities and the statutory undertakings concerned.


Are we to have this legislation this year?

Colonel ASHLEY

It is a private Member's Bill, and I am afraid that the prospects are rather uncertain.


If there be substantial agreement as to the necessity of giving these powers, which are very long overdue, cannot the Government give time?

Colonel ASHLEY

As far as I am concerned, I am anxious that this legislation should be passed.


Will the right hon. Gentleman press for facilities to be given to this Bill, if it be an agreed Measure?

Colonel ASHLEY

That is for the Prime Minister to decide.