HC Deb 13 February 1963 vol 671 cc1291-2
20. Mr. J. Robertson

asked the Secre-of State for Scotland at what date it is proposed to begin work on the construction of a road bridge at Erskine.

Mr. Noble

I understand that Dunbarton and Renfrew County Councils are about to form a Joint Committee to undertake preliminary investigations into this proposal. This will clearly take some time and I cannot forecast when a decision about the construction of the bridge will be possible.

Mr. Robertson

Will the right hon. Gentleman gives the House an assurance that this project has the blessing of the Gentleman give the House an assurance Office and that the Joint Committee will be assisted to carry it out?

Mr. Noble

This is certainly one of the many schemes which, if it proves to be roughly the right price and available at the right time, the Scottish Office would be delighted to agree.

Mr. Hoy

Will the right hon. Gentleman say what the right time would be in view of the figure of unemployment for Scotland?

Mr. Noble

There are problems about the siting of the bridge and about its design, and we shall have to bring an Order to the House if both are right. That is what I intended to mean when I referred to the right time.

Mr. Steele

Are we to understand that the decision to go ahead with the Tay Road Bridge has priority over the bridge at Erskine, or may we say that both these projects will be taken on their merits?

Mr. Noble

The decision to go ahead with the Tay Road Bridge was taken in principle some years ago and has been announced to start in the immediate future. I cannot guarantee, however hard we work, that it will be possible to start the Erskine Bridge at the same time.