HC Deb 07 February 1962 vol 653 cc414-5
23. Mr. Stodart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has formed of the number of vehicles which will cross the Forth Road Bridge as compared with the total of those at present using the ferry and those travelling on the A.9 road to or from the Kincardine Bridge.

Mr. Maclay

Up-to-date information on this matter is being compiled by the consulting engineers to the Forth Road Bridge Joint Board. Until this work is completed any prophesy I could make now would be based on out-of-date figures and might be misleading.

Mr. Stodart

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that this survey is to be carried out in some climate of urgency? Is he aware that the rate of fatal accidents in Edinburgh is the highest of any among the Scottish cities? Is he aware that the suburban railways in Edinburgh are under sentence of death, and is it not of great importance that heavy traffic or through traffic which wishes to by-pass the city and to keep out of the centre should be enabled to do so?

Mr. Maclay

On the question of urgency I can assure my hon. Friend that this is going forward as fast as reasonably possible. All the other points he raised, while related to the Question, do not really arise directly out of it.

Mr. Steele

Could the Secretary of State give us some explanation as to why a survey is necessary to find out what traffic is likely to cross the bridge? Is there some doubt whether it will be completed or not?

Mr. Maclay

There is no doubt whatsoever about that. The point is that since the original surveys were taken, before commencement of building, the pattern of traffic has changed, and it is necessary to do another survey, particularly in relation to tolls.

Hon. Members