HC Deb 21 March 1962 vol 656 c379
25. Mr. John MacLeod

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that the new road being built between Torridon and Shieldaig, known as the Balgy Gap road, in Wester Ross is to be constructed as an 11-foot carriageway with passing places; and if he will have it constructed as an 18-foot carriageway instead.

Mr. Brooman-White

The carriageway being constructed is 11 ft. wide with passing places but, as my hon. Friend will know from my right hon. Friend's letter of 12th March, the earthworks required to enable this to be widened to 18 ft. when traffic justifies this are being done at the same time.

Mr. MacLeod

Will my hon. Friend look at this matter again? This road will have to be widened within the next two or three years. It will be a very important tourist road. The price now, with all the men and equipment on the spot, would be £11,000. In two or three years' time it would be £35,000 to £40,000. Surely this is completely false economy.

Mr. Brooman-White

To go ahead with the scheme now, which is not of top priority, would correspondingly reduce work on other new Highland roads.

Mr. Hoy

Will not the Under-Secretary of State face up to this problem? Surely it is nonsense at this time to be building roads 11 ft. wide and making preparations for widening them two years later. This is complete nonsense and the most expensive way of building roads. Why does not the hon. Gentleman take his courage in his hands and do the road properly?

Mr. Brooman-White

The hon. Gentleman is making the assumption that it will be necessary to widen the road in two years.