HC Deb 17 July 1963 vol 681 cc506-7
18. Mr. Stodart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he takes to ensure that the most up-to-date and efficient designs are used for the construction of road bridges in Scotland.

Mr. Leburn

My right hon. Friend's Department gives advice and guidance on bridge design to Scottish highway authorities. His experts play a full part in the work of national and international bodies concerned with the advancement of knowledge in bridge design and in the use of materials.

Mr. Stodart

Can my hon. Friend say whether it is a fact that all those who have helped to design and all those who are engaged in working on the Forth Road Bridge are engaged in what is probably the most dramatic piece of construction in the world at the moment? Is it not a fact that this is the lightest and the strongest bridge in the world? In the light of this, can my hon. Friend say whether he thinks that the prospects for bridge building in Europe by Scottish firms and workmen are excellent?

Mr. Leburn

I am told that the Forth Bridge design is recognised by engineers throughout the world to be the most advanced and economic design. By good design and using the most up-to-date techniques, the tonnage of steel on the Forth Bridge has been greatly reduced compared with similar bridges abroad.

Mr. Steele

Does this mean that the impending construction of the Erskine bridge is now nearer?

Mr. Leburn

I would not like to come to that conclusion on this Question.

Mr. W. Hamilton

Is it not also the case that this is the only bridge in the world going into a high unemployment area on which tolls are to be paid?

Mr. Leburn

I would not like to predict that on this Question.