HC Deb 23 February 1960 vol 618 cc174-5
25. Mr. Woodburn

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware or the dangers arising from the three lanes on the Edinburgh-Glasgow road; and if he will transform it into either a two-or four-lane highway to avoid danger from the centre lane being used to pass in both directions.

28. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations has received from the Midlothian County Council concerning accidents on the Edinburgh to Glasgow trunk road A.8; and what proposals he has for converting the present three-Lane road into a dual carriageway.

Mr. Maclay

I share the concern which Midlothian County Council have expressed at the number of accidents on this road. Plans for the reconstruction of the Baillieston-Newhouse stretch, with dual carriageways, are in preparation and the improvement of the whole road will proceed as quickly as the funds at my disposal permit.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, apart altogether from the width of the road, the fact that there are three lines itself constitutes a danger, and that people driving on the road would feel far safer if there was a line down the middle which should not be crossed except on the responsibility of the person crossing it, and that that would be far safer than having three lines with a passing space between two sets of vehicles?

Mr. Maclay

I know that that opinion is held, but the evidence suggests that the number of junctions and not the three-lane construction is the principle cause of accidents. I can give the right hon. Gentleman relevant figures.

Mr. Willis

In view of the developments which are now taking place around the road, can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he will deal with the matter rather more urgently? Can he give us some indication of when he is likely to do something more about the other part of the road?

Mr. Maclay

We are at present, in consultation and in conjunction with the West Lothian County Council, examining the implications of the establishment of the B.M.C. factory at Bathgate and will proceed with the early stages of the work as quickly as we can get on with it.

Mr. T. Fraser

In saying that he will go ahead with the work as quickly as he can, is the right hon. Gentleman telling us that the funds at his disposal are hopelessly inadequate to the needs of the situation?

Mr. Maclay

No, Sir. As the hon. Gentleman knows, at any given moment there is only a certain amount of money available. I hope that the Baillieston-Newhouse part of the road will be started early in the financial year 1961–62.

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