§ 5. Mr. Thompson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what stage his plans have reached for bypassing the following centres of population on the A75, namely Castle Douglas, Gatehouse-of-Fleet, Creetown, Newton Stewart, and Glenluce; and when he expects work to start on each of them.
§ The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Mr. Bruce Millan)
Schemes for bypassing all these communities are in various stages of preliminary preparation. I cannot yet forecast when work on each might start.
§ Mr. Thompson
I thank the hon. Gentleman for the assurance that schemes are under way. Will he accept that many of my constituents who live in these towns are seriously worried about the situation? Will he look soon at the situation in Newton Stewart and Glenluce?
§ Mr. Millan
I know some of the problems in the areas mentioned by the hon. Gentleman. In the case of Newton Stewart a draft line of route and side-road orders have been published, and has 491 a draft order for the compulsory acquisition of land. In this case, because of objections there may be a need for a public local inquiry, but, as in the other cases instanced by the hon. Gentleman, preliminary preparations are in hand.
§ Mr. Monro
Will the Minister accept that large sums of money have been spent on the A75 in recent years and that there have been worthwhile improvements? Does he agree that the increased traffic on the Stranraer to London route, particularly container traffic, is causing a major bottleneck at Dumfries? Will he consider authorising the construction of a ring road as soon as possible?
§ Mr. Millan
Dumfries is not mentioned in the original Question, but if the hon. Gentleman tables a Question on that area I shall be happy to answer it. The general question of container traffic to Stranraer is an important consideration in examining road plans for the whole area.