HC Deb 24 February 1982 vol 18 c843
3. Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has been made and is being made towards designating lorry routes in cities in Scotland; and whether he will issue any guidance to local authorities in this connection.

Mr. Rifkind

Surveys aimed at identifying lorry routes within their areas have been carried out in all the regions. Traffic regulatory orders relating to lorries have been made for Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee, but not for Glasgow.

I am considering issuing further advice to local authorities to help them to make the most effective use of their powers to restrict heavy lorries to suitable routes.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Is my hon. Friend aware that his statement will be welcomed by countless residents who hope that lorry routes will be designated in major cities, especially if lorry weights are to be increased marginally?

Mr. Rifkind

The power is available to local authorities, and we are anxious that, where appropriate, it is used to the advantage of local communities.

Mr. Foulkes

Does the Minister recall the reply that he gave to me that there would be no extra bypasses, or no advancement of proposed bypass development, following the recommendations of the Armitage report? If the Government agree to 40-tonne lorries, will he ensure that they stop at the border?

Mr. Rifkind

I am not clear about the first part of the hon. Gentleman's question. The Government are considering a large number of bypass proposals. Indeed, 11 bypasses are either being constructed or are at a very advanced stage of preparation. The Government believe that bypasses are an important part of the roads programme.

Sir Russell Fairgrieve

Does my hon. Friend appreciate that, although we must bear in mind proper environmental control, commercial firms in Scotland in general, and in Grampian in particular, are losing out financially and commercially because of their inability to use larger lorries?

Mr. Rifkind

My hon. Friend is correct in relation to Scotland. Because it is further from the markets and sources of supply, Scotland might benefit more from heavier lorries. I emphasise that no final decision has been taken. My hon. Friend's point is relevant.

Mr. George Robertson

When considering the question of heavier lorries, will the Minister bear in mind the problems of parking in towns, such as Hamilton which is just off the main motorway, because greater aggravation will be caused if more and heavier lorries are on the roads?

Mr. Rifkind

Yes. I emphasise that the use of the powers to which I referred in answer to the original question can be initiated by the local authorities. The orders to which I referred can by promulgated by the local authorities. The hon. Gentleman should put the merits of his case to the relevant local authority.