HC Deb 21 November 1962 vol 667 cc1192-3
10. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received from Scottish local authority associations concerning the payment of grants in respect of trunk and classified roads in cities and large burghs; and what replies he has sent.

Mr. Noble

None recently, Sir.

Mr. Willis

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many local authorities are increasingly concerned at the very heavy financial burdens that are now falling upon them in connection with road works, burdens which they feel ought to be borne by the State, and is it not time that the Government really examined the questions of scheduling roads, classification and grants?

Mr. Noble

I am aware of this feeling and I appreciate the problem. It is being kept in mind in the consideration which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport and I are now giving to the Seventh Report of the Estimates Committee on Classified Roads.

Mr. Hoy

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise what an intolerable burden this is placing on local ratepayers, and that in connection with the new Forth Road Bridge the City of Edinburgh, as one example, is having to face tremendous expenditure on road works to meet this new situation? Is it not unfair that any local authority should have to carry this burden on its own? The Government must soon make up their mind that they will accept some responsibility for it.

Mr. Noble

I am aware of the feeling in Edinburgh. I hope that when the road approaches are open it will not mean that all traffic will pass straight through Edinburgh. Edinburgh will obviously get a great deal of traffic movement into it. But it is because this is a very wide problem and not confined to Edinburgh that it should be looked at in the context of the whole country.