HC Deb 18 November 1953 vol 520 cc1711-2
24. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he will consult with the local authorities concerned with a view to initiating preliminary steps in connection with a Tay road bridge similar to those already undertaken in connection with a Forth road bridge.

38. Mr. Spence

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will arrange for the preparation of estimates for the construction of a new road bridge over the Tay at Dundee and of a dual carriageway trunk road from Forth to Tay in order that the project of an East Coast route can be viewed as a whole.

Mr. Molson

I do not think that estimates or preliminary steps would serve any useful purpose at the present time. The construction of such a bridge and trunk road would be very expensive and in my opinion would not be justified in the foreseeable future by the volume of traffic likely to benefit.

Mr. Thomson

On what strange concept of justice is the Minister refusing in the case of the Tay road bridge to take the very modest step taken in the case of the Forth road bridge?

Mr. Molson

It is quite obvious that if steps are taken in the case of one bridge, that is the reason why there is less money available for taking similar steps in the case of another bridge at the same time. In point of fact there is nothing like the same amount of traffic likely to cross the Tay as there is crossing the Forth, and therefore in terms of priority the Tay bridge comes a long way behind the Forth bridge.

Mr. Spence

May I ask the Minister to have another look at this question with special regard to the road north from where the new Forth road bridge may be built? The exit from North Queens-ferry is very bad. May I also ask if he is aware of the position of the bridge further up the Forth which was recently opened, and where the south approach is only now being made?

Mr. Hamilton

Would the Minister agree that it would help enormously in deciding the importance of projects if we could have a list of priorities?

Mr. Molson

So far as the road is concerned, we have approved in county development plans the provision of a double carriageway trunk road from the proposed Forth bridge to cross the Tay. That matter is approved in principle for the future. Regarding the publication of priorities, they are indicated each year when the Estimates have been approved and the programme is made known.

Mr. H. Morrison

As the Parliamentary Secretary has said that the priority of the Tay bridge is a long way behind that of the Forth bridge, will he say what is the priority of the Forth bridge?

Mr. Molson

It is higher than that of the Tay bridge.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

May I ask my hon. Friend, as he has said that a double carriageway is planned between the Forth and the Tay, if it is not urgent to have some plan, at any rate at the blue-print stage, for carrying out what obviously is the intention?

Mr. Molson

I will gladly consider the possibility of that, but it is a matter of making plans for the unforeseeable future.