HC Deb 19 July 1978 vol 954 cc525-6
15. Mr. Crawford

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he now expects the Friarton Bridge, Perth, to be opened.

Mr. McElhone

Recent bad weather has delayed completion, but it is hoped that one carriageway with a two-way working will be open by the end of July. The second carriageway should be completed by the end of September.

Mr. Crawford

Why will the M85 over the Friarton Bridge be the only piece of motorway bridging in the United Kingdom not to have lights on it? Is not that discrimination against Scotland? When will the Scottish Office do something about it? This is an oil route.

Mr. McElhone

I could give many answers to that question. I should draw the attention of the House to the fact that the hon. Gentleman said earlier that he was educated at an English university. We all have handicaps. I am sorry that the other part of the double act keeps making noises, so that I cannot get my sparkling supplementary replies in. Therefore, I shall let my case rest.

Sir John Gilmour

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that there is gross discrimination against the kingdom of Fife, where one has to pay to get in and out on toll bridges, whereas one can cross on the Friarton Bridge for free?

Mr. McElhone

I cannot answer that question without notice. I shall convey the point to my right hon. and noble Friend who deals with these matters on a day-to-day basis.

Mr. Younger

As Scotland has had a particularly good spring and summer, how is it that the Scottish Office appears to be suffering particularly bad weather?

Mr. McElhone

The paucity of questions coming from Opposition Members today does not indicate a great deal of interest in these matters. The difference in Scotland has not been the weather; it has been the change in political climate, to the advantage of the Government.