§ 14. Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the recent deterioration of the state of the roads in the Isle of Skye; and what steps he proposes to take to mitigate the bad effects of a complete breakdown in road communications.
§ Mr. Barnes
I am aware that roads in Skye have recently suffered from alternate frost and thaw. The responsibility for the maintenance of these roads rests with the Inverness County Council and I understand that they are endeavouring to restore the roads as quickly as conditions permit. The County Council receive assistance from the Road Fund towards the maintenance of their classified roads.
§ Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton
Is the Minister aware that most of the roads in Skye are 40 or 50 years old and were not designed to carry some of the heavy traffic which they have to carry today? Unless something is done to improve the roads, the island will be reduced to packhorses for transport? Furthermore, in view of the importance of the tourist industry, will he consider taking over the main road from the Kyle of Lochalsh to the north of Skye as a trunk road, and see that it is constructed and maintained up to that standard?
§ Mr. Barnes
The Ministry have taken over many roads in Scotland in recent years, and made them trunk roads. I will certainly look into the specific point raised by the hon. Gentleman.