§ 31. Mr. G. M. Thomson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in view of the local unemployment situation, he will grant permission for preparatory work to begin for a road bridge over the River Tay at Dundee.
§ Mr. N. Macpherson
A road bridge at Dundee would be a classified road scheme for which the local authorities would have to obtain the necessary powers by promoting a provisional order. My right hon. Friend has agreed with them that there should be a joint examination of the technical questions involved in the preparation of a scheme and this is proceeding. He knows of no further preliminary work that could usefully be put in hand until this stage has been completed.
§ Mr. Thomson
Is the Minister aware that his right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation has given consent for preparatory work on a road bridge across the River Tamar in Devon and has done so on the ground that he considers it desirable to have in reserve, against sudden emergency, a number of road bridge schemes in an advanced stage of preparation? One particular reason he gave was that there is severe local unemployment in that part of England. Do not the same considerations obtain in Dundee? Will the hon. Gentleman take another look at this question and agree that the Tay Road Bridge scheme should be brought to a similar stage of preparedness?
§ Mr. Macpherson
Yes, Sir, but first a provisional order has to be considered and made. The authorities concerned with the Tamar Bridge have already obtained Parliamentary powers and that bridge is to be built without financial assistance from the Government.