1. Mr. Gresham Cooke
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will now announce new plans for major improvements in the road programme for Scotland.
§ 47. Mr. Adam Hunter
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will announce his new plans for speeding up the road building programme.
§ 49. Mr. Steele
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has for increasing the progress of the road building programme.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Dr. J. Dickson Mabon)
I would refer the hon. Members to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave on 17th February to the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. MacArthur).
Mr. Gresham Cooke
As a fairly frequent visitor to Scotland and one who is deeply interested in industry there, may I ask the hon. Gentleman whether it does not seem that the problem of Scotland in road development is rather the same as that of England, namely, that attention will have to be given to urban road development in future? Will the hon. Gentleman give that part of Scotland's road problem special attention in future?
I am very pleased that the hon. Gentleman frequently visits Scotland. I hope that he will enjoin his English friends to do likewise. We are reviewing the whole matter in 362 sequence. We hope that the review will be completed in July.
§ Mr. Hunter
Is my hon. Friend aware that, since the opening of the Forth Road Bridge in September last, several towns and villages in Scotland have carried a much greater volume of traffic? Will he take cognisance of this and consider with the greatest urgency building roads in the area north of the River Forth?
§ Dr. Mabon
I will certainly take cognisance of those points. My hon. Friend will be aware that I met the Fife authorities concerned to have a discussion on specific matters as well as on the general position in Fife. The Government are fully alive to this and have given certain undertakings to those concerned.
§ Mr. Steele
Is my hon. Friend aware that only seven or eight of the 15 miles of motorway on the A.74 are under construction? Will he ensure that construction of the other seven miles, which would complete this part of the motorway, is authorised fairly quickly so that the whole job can be finished before 1968?
§ Mr. W. Baxter
This Question has been addressed to my hon. Friend by an English Member of Parliament. This presupposes that we are not getting a fair crack of the whip in Scotland. As a great deal more needs to be done to our roads, will my hon. Friend take action at an early date?