§ 32. Mr. W. Baxter
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when the improvements to the Kilsyth-Longcroft road are to be commenced; and when is the estimated finishing date.
§ Dr. Dickson Mabon
Stirling County Council was informed in December, 1963, that grant could be found for a scheme costing £100,000 on this road. My right hon. Friend will willingly consider any proposal that may be put forward within that limit.
§ Mr. Baxter
Is my hon. Friend aware that £100,000 will never even look at the road improvement necessary on the Kilsyth-Longcroft road; and that such a sum would only take in about a mile or a mile and a half at the most? Would he look again at this problem to see whether he could not give a larger grant towards work on a very important road which is very much in need of repair and improvement?
§ Dr. Mabon
I agree that there is a great deal of sense in what my hon. Friend says about this road, but it is a 1401 question of priorities. The reconstructed trunk road A80—Glasgow to Denny—runs parallel to this road through Kilsyth. It is difficult, having in mind the pressure for money in Scotland for road development all over, to find more money for this road at this time. I would strongly suggest to my hon. Friend that it would be useful for him to invite the Stirlingshire County Council to look again at the invitation given by my right hon. Friend to consider using this £100,000 in some way to improve this road. After all, half a loaf is always better than no bread.
§ Mr. Baxter
It is not half a loaf at all—it a crumb from the rich man's table. If my hon. Friend looks at the amount of money spent south of the Border compared with what is spent north of the Border, he will realise that we are not getting a fair share. This is a road of great importance, not only to Kirkintilloch and Dunbartonshire, but to Kilsyth and Stirling and the development of the whole Clyde Valley. I hope that my hon. Friend will look again at the position here.