HC Deb 03 March 1976 vol 906 cc1289-90
4. Mr. Fairgrieve

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has for improving the road system north of the Edinburgh/Glasgow axis.

Mr. Millan

The trunk road programme provides for the improvement of trunk roads giving acccess to oil-related developments and of those serving the central industrial belt, including the motorway and dual carriageway network. The improvement of other roads is primarily the responsibility of regional and island councils.

Mr. Fairgrieve

In view of the Minister's answer and his comments about oil-related areas, does he appreciate that with the importance of the Aberdeen area to the whole United Kingdom economy there should be an early commitment to announce the building of a road joining the oil capital of Europe—Aberdeen—and Edinburgh with dual carriageway throughout via Perth and Dundee?

Mr. Millan

I think the hon. Gentleman knows the decision that the Government took to make the road from Dundee to Stonehaven, via Forfar, the trunk road. That was indicated to the two regional councils concerned in January. We have not had their comments yet.

Mr. Ronald Atkins

Will the Minister ensure that any road building in Scotland does not duplicate existing rail services, the closing down of which will be criticised by the people who are now asking for road improvements?

Mr. Millan

I take the view that we need a correct balance between road and rail development.

Mr. Crawford

Will the Minister authorise the reconstruction of the Dam-head Bridge at Coupar Angus on the A94, which is one of the main oil routes to and from Aberdeen?

Mr. Millan

If the hon. Member tables a Question on that subject, I shall deal with it.