HC Deb 25 March 1952 vol 498 cc177-8
5. Mr. J. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will consider making grants direct to district councils for the construction or reconstruction of unclassified roads.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. McNair Snadden)

District councils are concerned only with existing roads not on the county list of highways. Grants for improvement work on such roads can be given in appropriate cases to district councils in the Highlands and Islands.

Mr. Grimond

Will the Minister bear in mind that these unclassified farm roads are of the greatest importance in some areas of Scotland and that at the moment they are not being kept up to standard for modern traffic? Will he consider whether he could either increase the amount of grant or find some other way to help?

Mr. John MacLeod

Is the Minister aware that unless something on the lines suggested by the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) is done, it will be impossible for at least 10 years for the county councils to take over these roads, as they should do, and put them under their authority?

Mr. Snadden

All schemes where improvements are proposed are examined by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland. I can only say that we give sympathetic attention to these schemes and that we are in a position to give grants for improvement work in the Highlands and Islands.