HC Deb 03 May 1972 vol 836 cc371-2
12. Mr. David Steel

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make it his policy to seek to divert all trunk routes from town centres.

Mr. Younger

The diversion of trunk routes from town centres is often justified on traffic and environmental groundsm, but each case must be considered on its merits.

Mr. Steel

May I ask the hon. Gentleman to pursue this policy with the same verve as that of his colleagues in the Department of the Environment? Is he aware that in three towns in my constituency—Peebles, Galashiels and Hawick —there is public concern over this issue and that we would like a more positive statement of policy from the Scottish Office?

Mr. Younger

I am aware of the problem to which the hon. Gentleman has referred in these towns in his constituency, but we do not want to have an overriding dogmatic policy which does not conform with local conditions. Each case must be considered on its merits in the light of the traffic that will use the roads, and in particular the percentage of the traffic which goes past the town concerned and the percentage which goes through it. In the case of Hawick more than 90 per cent. of the traffic either starts or stops there.

Mr. Clark Hutchison

Has my hon. Friend seen the proposals to drive trunk roads through parts of Edinburgh which would involve destroying many good houses in my constituency? Will he take steps to put the kibosh forthwith on this crazy scheme?

Mr. Younger

I know my hon. Friend's strong views on this matter, but it is at present a matter between the consultants and Edinburgh Corporation and they have not so far brought it to my attention.