HC Deb 09 June 1976 vol 912 cc1428-9
19. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement regarding the implementation of phase 1 and phase 2 of the East Fife Regional Road.

Mr. McElhone

This road will form part of a revised trunk road pattern in Fife, which was recently agreed with the regional council. The preparation of the necessary trunk road orders is in hand and the regional council has been asked to complete the preparation of the Thornton bypass. It will probably be the first scheme to be carried out.

Mr. Gourlay

Is the Minister aware that the contract documents stage of the road will be reached in the autumn of this year? In view of the long delays which this project has suffered under several Governments, will he give an assurance that the road can be started at least not later than 1978?

Mr. McElhone

I can give an assurance on the latter point, but, to be realistic, the starting date in my estimation will probably be nearer 1979–80. The intention is that the work should proceed in phases. It is desirable that there should be no undue delay, but that has to be considered in terms of the road programme and the finance available.