HC Deb 19 November 1969 vol 791 cc1306-7
31. Mr. Russell Johnston

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he estimates that work will commence on those sections of the Mallaig Road which are still not up to A standard.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

The reconstruction of two miles between Glenfinnan and Craigag is in progress, and a contract is about to be placed for a new double-track swing 'midge at Banavie. An appraisal of the remaining unimproved length has started, with a view to including further schemes in the road programme for the 1970s.

Mr. Russell Johnston

Is the Minister aware that what I was seeking was information when the road from Fort William to Mallaig will be completed up to A standard. I would like to be assured that it has top priority. The next phase of road development in the Highlands should not be overtaken by other more dramatic demands further north.

Dr. Mabon

I would not like to get into arguments about priorities, but the hon. Gentleman, who is very fair-minded, ought to know that if we were to complete the improvement of A830, it would cost £21 million. This must be weighed against demands from other areas. It is our intention that the next length of road to be improved will be nine miles between Arisaig and Lochailort. Inverness County Council is at present surveying the possible route for this quite significant development.