HC Deb 10 November 1954 vol 532 cc1193-4
43. Sir W. Darling

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, in view of the restrictions now being removed from building materials and labour, a date can be given for the commencement of the erection of road bridges over the River Forth and the River Tay estuaries.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, Sir. The welcome removal of restrictions to which my hon. Friend refers, does not relieve us of the need to allocate the limited funds available to the most urgent projects which can be afforded.

Sir W. Darling

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the funds are available; that his predecessor refused permission to Scottish industrialists to build with their own funds, so that difficulty is now entirely removed? If I am right in supposing that there is no difficulty about building material, Scotland will build its own Forth bridge, if financial permission be extended. Will such permission be given?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The point is not so much financial permission as financial provision, but if my hon. Friend has a proposal for providing the finances for a bridge of this sort, that will certainly be looked at.

Mr. Woodburn

Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been called to the fact that there are bodies in Scotland proposing to raise the money to provide a bridge and charge the necessary tolls? Are we to take it from his reply that, if they do so, he will raise no objection?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I should have to see the proposals before answering that question, but I should be very happy to see them.

Mr. C. Williams

Will my right hon. Friend remember that the Tamar bridge would be far more useful and important than the bridge which has just been mentioned?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

That may be so, but this Question refers to bridges over the rivers Forth and Tay.