HC Deb 18 March 1986 vol 94 cc215-56

Order for Third Reading read.

7.1 pm

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton (Edinburgh, West)

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the third time.

When I moved the Second Reading of the Bill on 4 December, I immediately mentioned that it was of the utmost importance to Scotland. It involves in no sense a minor local issue, and I shall say why.

The case for the western relief road has consistently been argued on the ground that it would make environmental improvements to living and shopping conditions on the western side of Edinburgh. That in turn would benefit public transport through the relief of traffic congestion and would reduce the incidence of accidents and personal injuries by the separation of vehicles from busy shopping centres, pedestrians and cyclists.

Over and above that the Bill is essential for Edinburgh. It would bring benefits in its relationship to planning policies now approved by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland in connection with the west side of the capital. Those planning policies refer to the construction of a conference centre in Lothian road, and the facilitation of the expansion and the development of Edinburgh's financial and banking centre in the Lothian road, Morrison street, Semple street, Fountainbridge area. I understand that at this moment discussions are going on between the district council and the Scottish Development Agency on that subject.

Those policies also relate to communications between these developments, the national motorway network and Edinburgh airport. The capacity to link the proposed developments of a financial and banking centre along with a conference centre connected by the relief road to the outer city bypass would mean that communications would be greatly improved. Connecting those developments with the main areas of population in central Scotland, and with roads and air communications throughout the United Kingdom would undoubtedly increase the employment potential of Edinburgh's role as a financial and banking centre.

The provision of a conference centre and purpose-built parking facility, the last of which has just been approved by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State at the eastern extremity of the western relief road, will combine to support an initiative which has potential for the permanent creation of a very large number of jobs. Indeed, it is estimated that about 5,000 jobs would be created over a 10-year period in the development of financial services in Edinburgh.

Mr. George Foulkes (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley)

Such loose statements are always being thrown round, particularly by some Conservative Members. The hon. Gentleman just said that it had been "estimated" that about 5,000 jobs would be created. By whom? On what basis was the calculation made? We should be told. It is no good hon. Members making bland statements without producing any evidence for them. People will start to believe them just because they have been made. We need some hard facts.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The Lothian region structure plan goes into the matter in detail. The hon. Gentleman will find all the details that he wants in that plan. Moreover, the Edinburgh chamber of commerce passionately believes that thousands of jobs could be created. Of course the talks going on between the SDA and the district council are also very important.

I remind the House that financial services are a growth area in Scotland. The western relief road would enhance the attraction of Edinburgh as a financial and commercial centre for customers and investors. The gains in international terms would benefit not only Edinburgh but Scotland as a whole, so the Bill is wholeheartedly in Scotland's interests.

Mr. John Maxton (Glasgow, Cathcart)

The hon. Gentleman has made great play about financial services, but surely people are no longer sent all over the world, and no longer travel between London and Edinburgh. Such work is increasingly done by computers. Why should we build a motorway?

Lord James-Douglas Hamilton

Edinburgh is a great insurance centre. Insurance companies in Edinburgh are undertaking more and more insurance contracts relating not just to Scotland and the North sea but to many parts of Europe and beyond. Edinburgh is increasingly seen throughout western Europe as a centre of financial services. That is all to the good. Indeed, it is seen by many people as the second centre after London.

The issue of jobs weighs more heavily in the immediate term. I note that the trade unions on the construction side support the Bill. All Scottish Members of Parliament will have received a letter dated 12 February from Mr. George Wilmhurst, construction trades co-ordinator of the Transport and General Workers Union for Scotland. He wrote: My main concern is of course employment … The Edinburgh western relief road would provide approximately 1,500 jobs in the construction industry. It would, of course, have an effect on the plant hire industry and naturally there would be a huge quantity of building materials required. Mr. Wilmhurst draws attention to the fact that the construction industry, which is labour-intensive, has suffered drastically, with a substantial reduction of those in employment over the past few years, stating: This project would also provide training for a number of apprentices and Youth Training Scheme trainees. In wanting the Edinburgh western relief road to go ahead, Mr. Wilmhurst is strongly supported by Mr. Fraser, the acting regional secretary of the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians, who wrote on 4 March: I hereby confirm that our union agrees that this road should be given priority owing to the lack of work in the construction industry at present. The unions are right to stress the importance of such employment opportunities, as they are important factors.

Mr. Foulkes

Surely the hon. Gentleman will agree that Opposition Members share the concern of the trade unions about the lack of employment opportunities not only in Edinburgh, but in the whole of Scotland. The hon. Gentleman and the unions will agree that exactly the same number of jobs would be created by the same amount of investment in a similar length of road in other parts of Scotland or, indeed, elsewhere in the Lothian region, or in other areas where it is desperately needed and where there are no objections to it—[Interruption.] Will the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton) accept that, and will the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. McQuarrie) shut up [Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Paul Dean)


Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

It is some time since the hon. Gentleman represented constituents in the east of Scotland. Thousands of Edinburgh residents passionately want this scheme to go ahead. The hon. Gentleman asked his question as if a parliamentary commission had not sat for three and a half months, and as if a Joint Committee of both Houses had not considered the matter fully. The parliamentary commission and the Joint Committee sat for longer on this Scottish Bill than any other parliamentary commission or Joint Committee has done this century.

Mr. Maxton


Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I shall return to that matter later. If the hon. Gentleman feels that I have not dealt with the point adequately, he can intervene later.

The primary purpose of the Bill is to relieve the shocking environmental conditions and improve road safety. At present large volumes of traffic are concentrated on the two principal radial routes from Edinburgh to the west: the A8 to Glasgow and the A71 to Lanarkshire. They are heavily overloaded with traffic. The A8, the main Glasgow road, passes through a series of major shopping centres, including those at Shandwick place, in Roseburn and in St. John's road, Corstorphine.

Similarly, the A71 passes through significant shopping centres on Dalry road and Gorgie road. Much of the road is narrow, congested and flanked by high density tenements and shops. More than 80,000 people live in the Edinburgh community served by those roads, and an even greater number use them for local services as shops are on both sides of the roads. Indeed, in the major shopping centres more than 1,000 pedestrians cross the roads every hour, in conflict with through traffic. There are schools either on the roads or in close proximity to them, and I receive representations from worried parents about the dangers to schoolchildren crossing them. They know that there are severe conflicts between through traffic, public transport, local traffic, shopping needs, pedestrians and school children. The consequences of that extremely unsatisfactory position are delays, frustration, danger and accidents. Each year there are about 3,000 accidents involving death or injury in west Edinburgh.

Mr. Michael J. Martin (Glasgow, Springburn)

The hon. Gentleman will know that while I was chairman of the inquiry I travelled daily to Edinburgh for more than three months. If the parked traffic at Corstorphine were cleared, access would be much easier.

Mr. Nicholas Fairbairn (Perth and Kinross)


Mr. Martin

We are not considering what lies between the hon. and learned Gentleman's ears.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that I could travel from my home in the north end of Glasgow to the Mound in Edinburgh in only 60 minutes? That is not an unreasonable length of time. If I could do it, any other driver should be able to.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The environmental capacity of the road in Corstorphine is 6,000 cars per day, but every day 24,000 cars use it. The hon. Gentleman's suggestion about removing parked cars would not begin to have the desired effect. It is one of the most congested streets in Britain, and certainly in east Scotland. There is no cure for it other than to build the western relief road in conjunction with the outer-city bypass.

The outer-city bypass may slightly relieve the position in Corstorphine, but all the evidence shows that the conditions in Gorgie-Dalry will worsen substantially. Gorgie-Dalry is not an advantaged area. Part of Gorgie is in my constituency, and all the estimates are that the traffic using Gorgie road would increase after the opening of the outer-city bypass.

On Second Reading the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang) said of the western relief road: I do not know how anyone can try to quantify the effect of that road on the number of accidents in that part of Edinburgh."—[Official Report, 4 December 1986; Vol. 88, c. 384.] Since I did not have the opportunity to answer hint then, I should like to do so now. The relief road is essentially a bypass for the communities of Corstorphine, Stenhouse, Gorgie-Dalry, Sighthill and Murrayfield-Roseburn on the western side of Edinburgh. It will take through traffic, the origin or destination of which is the centre of Edinburgh, away from the routes that pass through the heart of communities with shopping centres, throbbing with activity, and with schools and countless homes. Instead, it will place the traffic on a purpose-built road with the same bridges and crossing points for pedestrians as are now in existence over or under the railway line. The problems of delay and safety in existing communities will be mitigated by the diversion of traffic to the proposed road.

Mr. Alex Fletcher (Edinburgh, Central)

I have listened carefully to my hon. Friend. He will not have neglected the fact that the relief to Corstorphine and other parts of the western end of the city will have a direct impact on the centre of my constituency, which is why I have objected to the Bill. Everything piles up in the centre of the city. First, will my hon. Friend turn his attention to the constitutional issue? I understand his enthusiasm for the road, but I hope that he is not enthusiastic about the facts that no independent public inquiry was held, and that only two teams of politicians considered the justification for the plan.

Secondly, will he turn his mind to the question of expenses, which should be awarded to objectors, in addition to the parliamentary commission, members of which will receive two thirds of their expenses? I hope that my hon. Friend will support the suggestion that an amendment may be passed in the other place to give objectors two thirds of the expenses that they incurred in the Joint Committee.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I shall deal with the question of expenses later.

The parliamentary commission considered whether the road would increase traffic in the city centre, but even the evidence provided by the objectors' expert witnesses admitted that the traffic in the city centre would not be substantially increased by the presence of the road. The technical advice was firmly to that effect, and that point was carefully examined.

It has been well established that dual carriageways have a much better accident record than single carriageways. That is because the central crash barriers greatly reduce the risk of accidents between overtaking vehicles. If the Bill is passed, huge benefits will accrue to pedestrians, regarding both the ease and safety of crossing roads, and more pleasant conditions on adjacent footways.

The relief road would reduce casualties by about 60 a year, and associated traffic management measures, including the closure of residential streets, widening pavements and diverting traffic to the relief road, would reduce accidents by a further 60. In other words, the relief road and associated measures would reduce serious personal injury accidents, including some deaths, by about 120 a year. That is the overwhelming moral justification for the Bill. It will save lives and greatly reduce the serious injuries sustained in west Edinburgh.

Moreover, the western relief road will greatly enhance the quality of life for thousands of Edinburgh citizens. As I said, even the technical evidence of the objectors showed that the road would produce environmental benefits. They were prepared to argue only about the scale.

Throughout, the stated intention of the Bill's sponsors has been to improve safety and the environment, and not to speed traffic. The Bill will affect not only those who live along the A71 and A8, because at present congestion along those routes causes traffic to spill into adjacent side streets, extending the problem still further. Through traffic management methods, about 30,000 vehicles or more would be diverted from those congested streets, once the relief road was completed. Those measures would not be possible without it.

The noise level of the 1,800 dwellings along these roads is above that for which double glazing is considered necessary. The construction of the road, even without other supplementary measures, would improve the position for more than 1,000 dwellings. With associated traffic management measures, the figure would rise to about 2,500 dwellings. Moreover, they would produce important benefits for businesses and shopping centres.

Mr. Fairbairn

On the matter raised by the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Fletcher)—[HON. MEMBERS: "Your hon. Friend."]—I thought that that was taken for granted, although after what the hon. Member for Glasgow, Springburn, (Mr. Martin) said, perhaps my hon. Friend would not want me to be one of his hon. Friends. Does my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton) appreciate that the objectors conceded before the Committee of both Houses that there would be no increase in traffic in central Edinburgh? Secondly, before we consider the possibility of amendments about expenses, perhaps the House or the other place should consider what the law is. We are not competent to grant such expenses under the law. Therefore, hon. Members should not become too emotional about the matter.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I shall deal with the question of expenses later. I do not accept what my hon. Friend said about the evidence of the experts employed by the objectors. Noise barriers will be erected, and should limit the impact of the new route, which is generally removed from existing residences. A small number of residences will be adversely affected, but that is far outweighed by the gain and the effect of the increases could be further mitigated by double glazing. About 20 houses need double glazing.

Atmospheric pollution will be minimised by the transfer of many slow-moving vehicles from confined spaces to a free-flowing road. The director of environmental health for Edinburgh district council is on record as supporting the proposal in the Bill. Benefits will be most significant in areas which give rise to most concern, but the levels of pollution within the relief road corridor would be below those being experienced in St. Johns road, Corstorphine, and below the lowest threshold which would cause any concern.

The outer-city bypass is no cure to the problem. It would reduce traffic in Corstorphine by 20 to 25 per cent., but the traffic in Gorgie-Dalry and Stenhouse would actually increase, as will traffic generally south of the Edinburgh-Glasgow railway. On Gorgie road, the traffic flow will increase by 50 per cent., and on Dalry road by 70 per cent. Gorgie-Dalry is not a wealthy area, and the intolerable environmental effects ensuing from the building of the outer-city bypass underline the need for the relief road.

Mr. James Wallace (Orkney and Shetland)

Will the proposal for the outer-city bypass increase through city traffic, or will it enable people, for example, from East Lothian or the Borders, who wish to get to Edinburgh airport to avoid more easily the city centre? If it does generate more traffic coming into the city, or at least traffic coming in at one point, does Lothian region propose any parking facilities to accommodate any such increases in full?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The district council proposed building new parking facilities next to the Sheraton hotel, and recently my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State gave approval. There will be 1,500 parking bays, but as cars use them for short periods they can accommodate several thousand cars a day. That deals effectively with one of the concerns which has been expressed about parking in the city centre.

Of course the outer city bypass is welcome in that it will remove from the city centre all traffic that can use the bypass, but it does have the problem that it will increase very substantially the traffic that comes into Gorgie-Dalry, especially if no relief road is built.

The net effect of the construction of the relief road will be to remove almost all the traffic from the residential areas south of the Edinburgh-Glasgow road and bring about a major reduction on the A71 road to Lanarkshire, while affording the potential to reduce traffic on that road principally to buses and local movement. The traffic on the A8 will be reduced to a quarter of its present level, and these improvements will be widely welcomed. There will be a marked improvement in bus services. The director of public transport supports the project and hopes that it will go through, because bus services would gain about three minutes on peak services. Each day there are about 2,500 bus journeys along the—

Mr. Barry Henderson (Fife, North-East)

Will not the relief that will arise on the A8 coming in from Glasgow, in turn relieve the general pressure on traffic coming into Edinburgh from the Forth bridge direction? If some of the traffic opted to come in on the A8 route, and if there were less pressure on the road, would that not help traffic coming into Edinburgh from either the west or north?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

It would make certain that there would be much less worry about permanent traffic jams. Later, I shall come to the proposals of the Edinburgh district council for its £100 million plan for development which would cause a permanent traffic jam in Corstorphine. My hon. Friend says there is a permanent traffic jam in it at the moment.

If the plans of the Edinburgh district council go through, then 30,000 traffic units will pass every day through Corstorphine, traffic will be totally clogged up, and life will be absolutely intolerable for those who live in the west of the city.

There are 2,500 bus journeys along the A71 and A8 each day. Higher bus running speeds on existing roads after the construction of the relief road will increase the popularity of public transport, and have its importance in attracting new users. For all these reasons, the quality of life will be improved for countless Edinburgh citizens, causing this Bill to have such massive support.

The idea of the relief road is not new. The Abercrombie plan for Edinburgh in 1949 anticipated the development of such a road, and in the 1960s Professor Buchanan had his own proposals. The Edinburgh development plan of 1965 also made provision for a new radial road, a west approach road to the M8.

Professor Buchanan wanted a six-lane motorway, and, as a result of his proposals, there was the suggestion of an intermediate circular route. As an Edinburgh councillor, I voted against those proposals because I felt that they were too extreme and would have destroyed a great many houses. Throughout, I have taken the position that for any road proposal to go through, the houses must be respected and the roads must not take precedence over them. I believe that as strongly as possible. This proposal is infinitely more modest than that of Buchanan, and is of a scale intended to fit the city.

The Lothian region had such a plan which set out the regional authority's policies on these proposals and relief roads, which would fit in with the pattern of communications outlined. This provides for the outer-city bypass and the extension of the M8 from the west to that bypass. The relief road and the M8 extension are planned as part of a comprehensive package.

In December 1982, the Lothian regional council appointed consultants to carry out a study of the proposed construction for a western relief road. From that moment, the objectors to this proposal were treated very fairly. I went to see the consultants to impress on them that houses must not be destroyed in large numbers. My representations were not in vain. They agreed that any scheme involving the wholesale destruction of houses would be unacceptable. That is why they came forward with the ingenious scheme of moving the railway line to the north to safeguard 240 council houses.

In May 1983, the consultants reported back to the regional council and recommended that the relief road was justified in terms of environmental and traffic benefits, and that it should be built as a dual carriageway as soon as practicable, but it was not to be opened before the Sighthill section of the outer-city bypass. They recommended that the planning and design of the road should maximise environmental protection, including the construction of noise barriers and full landscape treatment. The scheme was to be undertaken in such a way as to secure the reorganisation or relocation of businesses without loss of employment. As far as possible, the loss of recreational facilities would be made good by the provision of alternative sites. Permanent environmental improvements with adjoining communities were to be secured by comprehensive planning and traffic management measures to give priority to local needs. In coming to these conclusions, the consultants conclusively rejected the no-road option.

Mr. Foulkes

The hon. Member was talking about moving the railway line into the strip of the Carrick Knowe golf course. Is the hon. Member aware that, as far as I understand it, this means that what is currently a straight railway line will have curves introduced? Since in other parts of Britain, in France, and all over the world, people are getting curves out of railway lines and making them straight, is this not a retrograde step? What explanation does the hon. Member have for this? Will that not discourage people from using the railway, and make congestion in Edinburgh even worse?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

British Rail has had every opportunity to make that point, but it has not objected and it did not participate in the parliamentary commission, as far as I know. That has not been a worry about which the parliamentary commissioners or the Joint Committee was concerned, and it is not a problem.

Mr. Martin

The hon. Member read the transcript of the hearing, and he will know that British Rail was worried, and that the counsel for the Cockburn association and other organisations, James Clyde, made the valid point that the inquiry should have given more consideration to the railway realignment than anything else, because that was the reason the order was introduced. Does he agree that little consideration was given to the railways, and that this was wrong?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

If British Rail were seriously anxious about this matter, I should have expected it to get in touch with me at some stage to voice that concern. It has not. I appreciate that the parliamentary commission was not unanimous, in that the decision was reached by three to one, but the overwhelming majority came to the view—

Mr. Foulkes


Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I must proceed.

Mr. Martin


Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The hon. Members will be getting their chance later and can develop their points then. I have much to say.

Mr. Foulkes


Mr. Martin


Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. We cannot have three hon. Members on their feet at the same time.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

As I said, the consultant—

Mr. Martin


Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I shall not give way.

Mr. Martin

Is the hon. Gentleman afraid to give way?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The preposterous suggestion has been made by those appearing on behalf of the Edinburgh district council that the two roads worst affected by traffic congestion would be improved, in the sense of making it easier for traffic to drive through the communities concerned. Far from relieving the communities of the traffic with which they are desperately overloaded, this would further expose them to even more intolerable pressures.

Then there was the "wait for the outer-city bypass" school of thought. The consultants declined to test this, and the studies that they completed revealed that, while there would be some relief in Corstorphine, the position would be much worse in Gorgie-Dalry. They foresaw that there would be more pressure to increase the capacity of the two radial routes, as an alternative to the western relief road. This additional capacity could be obtained only at the expense of the local community, whose members live, work, shop and go to school in those areas, by giving priority to traffic over them. They also saw that traffic using the main radial routes will continue to grow because of the increased levels of car ownership and because there are proposed developments on the western side of Edinburgh. Here, their words were strangely prophetic.

I have here the District Council News, which is produced on behalf of the Labour administration on the Edinburgh district council. It says that the Labour group is proposing a £100 million investment in the west of the city. It just so happens that this investment is perched at the western end of the proposed relief road in my constituency. The article says that the project, involving 200 acres of land at South Gyle will create a high technology park and a district shopping centre as well as several hundred houses. It is a joint development by Marks and Spencer, Associated Dairies, Wimpey Homes, with the cooperation and participation of the City of Edinburgh District Council. The proposed shopping centre extends to 400,000 sq ft. This is larger than any shopping centre now in existence in Scotland. As well as that, 40 acres will be developed for housing with 123 acres as a high technology park in the green belt.

This application has been called in by the regional council, and if it is approved, 30,000 extra units of traffic will be using the roads every day. I do not need to tell the House that the effect of those proposals on west Edinburgh would be a permanent traffic jam of hideous proportions. The plans of Edinburgh district council, if implemented without amendment, would condemn thousands of my constituents to live in circumstances of frustration and degradation. Their lives would be adversely affected by the permanent traffic jam on their doorsteps.

The present environmental capacity of St. Johns road is 6,000, the existing traffic is nearly 24,000 and the bypass would reduce the figure marginally to 19,000. If these proposals go ahead without a relief road, there will be 30,000 extra units, and life will become intolerable, not only in Corstorphine but, even more so, in Gorgie-Dalry, where the traffic will, in any case, grow when the outer-city bypass opens. The environmental capacity of Gorgie road is 6,000 a day and more than 10,000 cars now use it. When the outer-city bypass opens, that number will increase to 15,000.

The Socialists on Edinburgh district council simply cannot have it both ways. They cannot say, "Yes, we want that £100 million development, but we do not want the western relief road." The mammoth developments that they propose—

Mr. Robin Cook (Livingston)


Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I shall give way to the hon. Gentleman in a moment, because I know that he has a constituency interest. The mammoth developments proposed will be unacceptable, and if the council imposes them, they will bring misery and unbearable environmental conditions for my constituents.

Mr. Cook

I shall be gentle with the hon. Gentleman, because as he is aware, our views on the proposed development concur. The difficulty that he foresees will be avoided if Lothian regional council sticks by its strategic plan and recognises Livingston as the major shopping centre for the area. However, is not the hon. Gentleman also trying to have it both ways? He is supporting the road, but, as I understand it, is not in favour of the development.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Before expressing a hard view on a £100 million development, which has many different facets, I shall take the views of my constituents into account. I have done that with the relief road, because many meetings have taken place, so I am aware of their concern. However, there is much concern about this proposed development because shopping patterns will be wiped out of existence and the changes will be far-reaching.

The hon. Gentleman expressed reservations about that £100 million development, but I know of no such reservations from the Edinburgh district council, which has published the article to which I refer, and which I can let him have if he would like it. If massive developments are proposed, with them there should be the improved environmental conditions that make life tolerable for those who live nearby and round about.

An exhibition was organised about the western relief road from 19 July to 3 September 1983. Some 40,000 households received leaflets explaining what the relief road would do. More than 3,000 persons visited the exhibition and the representations in writing that the consultants received showed that a decisive majority wanted the relief road to go through. During this process, I attended the meeting, and I and others urged the consultants to make changes.

An important one was the move to safeguard as much as possible the employment of those who work at Westfield. The consultants listened to the representations and substituted a viaduct through the Westfield area to minimise the impact on businesses in that area. It was made clear that the design standards are virtually the lowest for a dual carriageway road, the speed limit over much of that road being 40 miles an hour. The line of route takes amenity interests into account.

For the most part, the route will occupy vacant ground or utilise former railway land. Most of the route runs alongside the Edinburgh-Glasgow railway line. At one point, as mentioned, where the route would conflict with housing, the railway is diverted. The diversion of the railway, the construction of the viaduct and the presence of undeveloped or derelict land allows the whole project to proceed with the demolition of only one house. A satisfactory arrangement has been made with the householder concerned.

Although road proposals involve the loss of open space, allotments and part of the golf course, the regional council has agreed to relocate those facilities and there will be extensive landscaping. The facilities affected by the relief road will be replaced or improved.

There are safeguards in the Bill for allotment holders and there is a smaller loss of land, as was mentioned earlier, in relation to Carrick Knowe municipal golf course. The region has employed a golf course architect who has prepared a design for remodelling the course on an 18-hole, par 70, basis of greater interest than the present course. That is covered by clause 35.

On Second Reading, the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East spoke about the importance of open space, although the same arguments apply to Portobello bypass in his constituency. That bypass, in the course of construction, which starts at Musselburgh and goes on to Portobello, goes through a disused coal mine, small shops and car parking adjacent to Asda, through allotments, through a garage and car showrooms, through former rail land, rail workshops, and wasteland, and will pass on an embankment behind houses in Portobello. In some ways, that bypass is even more intrusive than the western relief road, yet the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East is only too happy to support a relief road for his constituency.

Some of the land on which the western relief road will run has been used as an informal recreation area and in places it has been used for dumping. The land has always been reserved for a major motorway and the road does not take it all. The road proposed is not a motorway. It is proposed to lay out a football pitch on some of the remaining land as well as to relocate and landscape a children's play area. Amenity and recreational interests have been taken into account.

I should like to examine the procedures involved in this matter. The regional council used the procedure of a parliamentary commission. As it turned out, that has allowed a wider debate than would otherwise have occurred. The parliamentary commission was the longest which has ever sat and was chosen for three reasons. First, the region could be faced with three planning inquiries: on the planning aspects of the road; on land acquisition apart from the rail diversion; and on rail diversion and associated land acquisition. Secondly, the procedure allowed a guaranateed hearing into the whole proposal. Thirdly, it allowed for a rather wider range of compensation than would normally have been available. Some 39 amenity groups banded together for the inquiry. Witnesses from the smaller groups said that they had received a fair hearing.

A number of arguments were put forward at the commission by the district council, the Cockburn association and the Balgreen, Stenhouse and Whitson action group. They argued that the new road would increase city centre traffic. Extensive analysis demonstrated that the redistribution of existing traffic caused by the relief road would not have a significant effect on the city centre. The consultants' view was that there was no evidence that the modest scheme proposed would significantly alter the number of journeys—

Mr. Foulkes

What is the purpose of the relief road, then?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The purpose of the road is to remove cars from a highly congested shopping centre, where there is considerable danger to the lives and welfare of children and those who live there and to remove those cars to a purpose-built road where they will not pose the threat that they now do.

Mr. Foulkes

On that particular point, which is crucial, will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Other hon. Members want to speak, and I want to develop my point.

Lothian region intends to maintain a limit upon parking. That is an important factor which—

Mr. Foulkes

Will the hon. Member give way?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

This will be the last occasion that I will give way.

Mr. Foulkes

This is a crucial point. The hon. Gentleman's whole central point is that the Saughton road and the Gorgie-Dalry road traffic will all go on to the new relief road. The hon. Gentleman ought to know from his experience that as soon as traffic goes on to that relief road more traffic will come in to the Corstorphine road and the Gorgie-Dalry roads, as those roads are at present relatively empty. More traffic will come into the city centre, thus making the constituency of the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Fletcher) more congested.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising that point, because he is fundamentally wrong. People come into the city centre only if they have the time and the money to do so. Whether the relief road is built or not will have no effect on the time or money of those who wish to travel to the city centre. The effect of the road is merely to redistribute traffic which already exists.

The road will not have the effects that the hon. Gentleman fears. If the hon. Member does not believe me, he should look at the big road into the heart of Sheffield, which has not increased traffic in that city centre. It has not had that feared and dreaded effect. Much of what the hon. Gentleman is saying represents a fear of the unknown. I am certain that the experts who produced the evidence know what they are talking about.

There are five points of relief where traffic wall be redistributed into the city centre: the Roseburn spur, Dundee street, Haymarket spur, Canning street and Lothian road. It must be remembered that with the parking facilities at the end of the road, it allows an opportunity for cars to get out of Edinburgh speedily without congesting the roads which we are concerned about.

I shall give a piece of evidence to the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, who is reluctant to accept what I am saying. When parts of the western approach road were opened, before and after studies showed that there was a drop in peak traffic on Lothian road. It was contended that more effective use of public transport with the outer-city bypass would make that road unnecessary. More effective public transport would be at the cost of demolishing houses and properties alongside the route and it has been identified that some properties would have to be destroyed in the Chesser. That would be totally unacceptable to those concerned.

The region has proposed rail improvements. With park-and-ride schemes, it has built a new railway station at Livingston and a station has been opened at South Gyle. Further stations will be opened on the Bathgate line, at Currie and at Wester Nailes. While these will help, they are not a substitute for the relief road. The parliamentary commission, as the House knows, decided by a majority to support the road project. The matter should be considered by the Joint Committee on the basis that justice should not only be done but seen to be done. Serious allegations have been made in the petitions which have been lodged before the House.

We are entitled to express gratitude to the two hon. Members who served on the parliamentary commission —the hon. Member for Glasgow, Springburn (Mr. Martin) and the hon. Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Mr. Hirst)—and to those hon. Members who served on the Joint Committee. Two of those hon. Members gave up three and a half months of their time and the other two gave up nearly seven weeks. That represents a considerable sacrifice, to make certain that the matter should be properly considered.

At almost the same time that the Joint Committee reported, the Secretary of State gave the go-ahead for the building of the multi-storey car park. That development will help speed up the construction of the international conference centre nearby and the development of a financial and banking centre. The car park is an important move in easing the city's severe parking problems by siphoning off several thousand cars.

I believe that the centre of the city is catered for in five different ways. First, the multi-storey car park will make a substantial difference. Secondly, the council's parking control methods should discourage long-stay parking. Thirdly, the railway halts providing park-and-ride facilities will encourage commuters to leave their cars outside the city. Fourthly, the traffic lights control system and the traffic management measures will operate to redistribute traffic as required when the relief road is built. Fifthly, the outer city bypass will take out of circulation in the city centre traffic which can use a bypass to the city.

My hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Fletcher) referred to expenses for the objectors. I am sympathetic with the determined line he has pursued on their behalf, not least because I am a life member of the Cockburn association and the National Trust. I shall not go into the detail of the legal complexities, but I believe that, as a matter of general principle, the amenity groups should be entitled to participate in massive planning inquiries without sustaining punitive costs with no hope of reimbursement. The points they raised were fully considered. Although the parliamentary commissioners and the Joint Committee rejected their line of argument, it was right that they should be heard, because they voiced the concern of some of their members.

Although the costs of the regional council and the district council are matters for those authorities respectively, I believe that the costs of the Cockburn association should be viewed sympathetically by the regional council because the issues needed full consideration before a decision could be reached. I believe that generosity by the region would not be a great sacrifice by ratepayers. I believe that such payment is desirable and necessary, whatever the legal technicalities may be.

From where does the opposition to the relief road come? I have heard a rumour that it emanates from the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East. That is remarkable, because the hon. Gentleman is benefiting from the Portobello bypass, which is a relief road through his constituency. The objective of that bypass was to remove traffic from shopping and residential areas where the traffic volume was approximately half the traffic volume in the west of the city. The only difference between the hon. Gentleman's constituency and mine is that the need for relief is far greater in west Edinburgh because the traffic volume is infinitely greater than in east Edinburgh.

The hon. Member for Edinburgh, East, tries to deny to my constituents benefits for which he has fought on behalf of his constituents. He supports a relief road for east Edinburgh, not for west Edinburgh. However, the hon. Gentleman's colleagues on Edinburgh district council, and perhaps the hon. Gentleman himself, are promoting a £100 million development in west Edinburgh. If development is to take place in the west, there must be roads with it to make life tolerable.

Traffic congestion in the western sector is totally unsatisfactory. Relief is vital for the areas where traffic is desperately overloaded. I hope that priority will be given to the local communities because, if the traffic is speeding, it can only be at their expense. None of the no-road options benefited those concerned. I strongly recommend the legislation.

The Bill is in the interests not only of my constituents but of Scotland. The environmental improvements, the accident reductions, the saving of lives and the benefits to public transport are all obvious, but the contribution of the western relief road to Scotland's economic well-being cannot be too strongly stressed. The people of Edinburgh make a great contribution to Scotland and to the United Kingdom as a whole. Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its educational system is second to none. Its banking, finance, insurance and commercial activities have a worldwide reputation. I believe that Edinburgh is well on the road to becoming the second financial centre of Europe after London.

The developments proposed by the Scottish Development Agency and the conference centre will establish a high-grade office development for financial institutions. At one end of the road is this proposed £100 million development; at the other end is the proposed development of a financial centre. Each proposed development will have the maximum impact only if there is a relief road. I have reservations about Edinburgh district council's proposal. However, I believe that it is essential to have this legislation because it stands for progress. It is essential for Edinburgh and Scotland.

7.54 pm
Mr. Michael J. Martin (Glasgow, Springburn)

I mean no offence to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton), but I think that it was unfair of him, knowing that many hon. Members wanted to put their case, to take so long. The Conservative party's interest in Edinburgh was shown by the fact that only one Conservative Member was willing to speak. The hon. Gentleman had to keep the debate going until his colleagues—

Mr. Robin Cook

There are only four of them.

Mr. Martin

—managed to finish their meal at the Harcourt Grill. That was very sad. It does not say much for the Conservative party's attitude to Edinburgh.

I do not believe that we should discuss Edinburgh's planning requirements at this stage. Three and a half months should not have been spent in Edinburgh, away from the business of Parliament, dealing with this matter. I do not believe that the issue should have been dealt with by a Joint Committee. The House has created legislation allowing local authorities to take up these matters through planning inquiries. If local authorities felt that planning inquiries would not give objectors and supporters alike a proper voice, they should have made representations to the House long ago. It is ridiculous to say that a parliamentary inquiry was needed because it would give ordinary people in Edinburgh the opportunity to state their case.

The hon. Member for Edinburgh, West confounded that argument when he told us that the Joint Committee rejected the proposal to cover the expenses of those who were good enough to make known their objections. The objectors reacted responsibly by creating an umbrella group of all objectors and allowing the Cockburn association to represent them, to appoint Queen's counsel and to make legal representation. It is wrong to say that this type of procedure makes things easy for the objectors. I believe that it makes it more difficult.

Anyone who spent any time at the Edinburgh inquiry would have seen that it was not easy for members of the public to make representations. They had to appear before six Queen's counsel and their juniors. I do not believe that it would have been easy for anyone to petition against the Bill.

The Government have a large majority. If they had had a very small majority, would they have allowed two Members of Parliament to go to Edinburgh?

Mr. Henderson

It would have depended on who they were.

Mr. Martin

The hon. Gentleman will know that the group must consist of an Opposition Member and a Government Member. If there were a Government with a small majority, a local authority opposed to the Government of the day could manipulate the parliamentary order and get people to object to it. The Government would be obliged to set up a parliamentary commission in Scotland. That would not be allowed. I am sure that the Leader of the House would bring about a change in legislation very rapidly.

As the only person who can represent constituents in Glasgow, Springburn, it is a scandal that I was taken away from the business of the House. I had a major redundancy declared in my constituency while the parliamentary inquiry was going on, and I was unable to come here to make representations on behalf of all the work force in the only major industry left in my constituency. That is not right. I do not mind the House taking a decision that I have to be elsewhere, but I take exception to a local authority making that decision when it had the power to go to a planning inquiry.

We were in Edinburgh to consider legislation. That is as it was explained to us by the two competent clerks, who were both qualified Queen's counsel. I think that Mr. Gavin Douglas is the Secretary of State for Scotland's legal adviser. We were advised from the outset, as parliamentary commissioners, that our main object was to look at the legislation to see whether it was properly worded and to make sure that it was not defective. We had to ensure that it would allow British Rail to divert the railway in such a way that no claim could be made against it, and that it was complying with the Railway Acts.

A submission was made at the early stages of the inquiry by James Clyde, now Lord James Clyde, a High Court Judge. His case was that we should throw out the order because there were other means at the disposal of the local authority and it should go back and prepare an order that consisted only of diverting the railway. Listening to the evidence, it was my view, and that of the legal advisers, that had that been done it would have taken only weeks to get the thing through. We would not, as a result, be having this discussion tonight and valuable parliamentary time would not have been taken up. All that we would have discussed was the diversion of the railway. Evidence was led to the effect that to proceed with such a major road development by parliamentary order was unprecedented. No evidence was put forwarded that could stand up to scrutiny to show that such a development had ever been put through by way of parliamentary order.

It does not matter what the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West says about a dual carriageway—there are dual carriageways and dual carriageways. I live on a dual carriageway—Wallacewell road and Balornock. I invite the hon. Gentleman to come and see it. It bears absolutely no resemblance to this proposal. What we have before us is a proposal for a motorway without a hard shoulder. It is the equivalent of the Clydeside expressway, which is a lot different from the Wallacewell road.

Evidence was led by the proposer of the Bill, the regional authority, that what we are talking about is something similar to the Clydeside expressway. This is a motorway in every sense of the word except that it does not have a hard shoulder. No one in his right mind would attempt to cross the expressway on foot, because the traffic is so heavy. Indeed, the local authority has built bridges over it. There was never any parliamentary order to deal with that proposal, and the hon. Gentleman knows it.

The hon. Member for Edinburgh, West says that we on the Labour Benches have a fear of the unknown I think that I know as much about motorway proposals as any hon. Member. I lived in a community known as Anderston, where the Clydeside expressway is. That was a tight-knit community. There was a good strong community spirit which must exist in Corstorphine and other parts of Edinburgh. The Clydeside expressway cut across several streets in that community, with the result that the population in the Anderston district of Glasgow is less than a third of what it used to be in the 1950s, when I lived there as a boy. It did not help things when they put a motorway through the centre of Glasgow and pushed all the population to the outlying areas. Even though some people have moved away from their old districts, and have been away for over 30 years, they still come to Members of Parliament and councillors in Glasgow saying, "I want to go back to the old area that I used to belong to."

Mr. Henderson

Can the hon. Gentleman tell me the political complexion of the authority that allowed that development to go ahead? Can he honestly put his hand on his heart and say that the opportunities for the objectors from Anderston were any greater than were the opportunities for the objectors to this scheme? Is it not the case with this proposal that only one house is to he taken away, which was not the case in Anderston?

Mr. Martin

There were not many people in Anderston who could afford a QC and a junior to help them at a parliamentary inquiry. My point is that lessons should be learnt from Glasgow. We have deplorable housing in Glasgow, and many people said that these motorways would be the answer to all our problems, because the roads would bring more industry and relieve traffic. There are still parts of Glasgow where the traffic is very heavy. What is the answer?

The hon. Member for Edinburgh, West talked about experts. The experts, who were outside the city, told those of us who live in Glasgow what we should be doing and what was good for us. Some of them stay in Edinburgh. The experts kept telling us that we needed more motorways. They had a plan to put a motorway through my area to bypass the district of Stepps. They plan to put a motorway from the end of Glasgow to link up with the M8. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman should take that into consideration. There will be more traffic brought on to the M8 and more traffic going on to the very road that he is proposing.

Even though these ideas about motorways in Glasgow came up in the early 1960s, and all the citizens were shown drawings and working models of what the place would look like, we still have many problems. These have been thrown up because the experts told us that this would be good for us. I say to the hon. Gentleman and the people of Edinburgh that they should not think that the only thing they will get is this relief road. Some other expert will come along and suggest adding another mile or two—"Why not do something else? Why not have a ring road?" The strange thing is that all that traffic on the relief road stops at the city centre. Therefore, someone will come up with the bright idea that it does not work, just as they came up with the bright idea in the 1980s, that despite all the motorway building more motorways were needed.

The upheaval in Glasgow has been scandalous. In Springburn, where I live, there were excellent properties which the experts told us would not be pulled down, yet the planning blight was so bad that they fell down. People pleaded with the authorities to pull buildings down. It is all right for the hon. Gentleman to say that not one building will be touched, but let us not kid ourselves. We have only to look at what happened in Glasgow and the problems of planning blight there. There is more noise than people expected. Communities are divided. People cannot get to the parks or schools. The lead from the petrol, the fumes and so on have eroded the quality of life. All those problems exist in Glasgow, not just in Anderston, but in Cowcaddens and the Gorbals.

The main problems, which were touched on by the hon. Gentleman, were the planning considerations. One of the justifications for motorways in Glasgow was that they would bring more industry to the city. If motorways bring industries to cities, Glasgow should be a boom town instead of having the worst unemployment problems in Europe. Therefore, that argument is confounded.

The parliamentary inquiry threw up another problem. Each and every one of us on that inquiry had no legal training—

Mr. Robin Cook

That may have been an advantage.

Mr. Martin

That may be, but we depended on the advice of Queen's counsel to the Secretary of State, who acted as our clerks. Let me put on record that they were excellent people to work with. I did not envy them their task. Like myself, they had other jobs to do, yet they worked hard to make sure that we were given every facility. On every occasion we received not just legal advice, but strong legal advice, that the legislation before us was defective. That advice was cast aside by the hon. Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Mr. Hirst), who I regret is not in the Chamber, and the two other parliamentary inquiries. The advice of the best legal brains in Edinburgh was thrown aside like a rusty nail.

It was not known at the time, but that was why the first motion to be put before the commissioners after all the proceedings was mine, saying that in view of strong legal advice we should reject the parliamentary order. Needless to say, it was 3:1 against. However, I felt so strongly about the matter that it had to be put on the record. I mention it today because the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West said that there was a strong majority against. I remind the hon. Gentleman that two independent Queen's counsel advised us that we should have rejected the order.

The hon. Gentleman does not take into consideration the fact that after the order was approved in Edinburgh, against my wishes, the representatives of British Rail came to the House to seek amendments to that parliamentary order. Therefore, the parliamentary order that was put before to us in Edinburgh was different from that which was put before hon. Members in the Joint Committee and the Members of the House of Lords.

Mr. Ron Brown (Edinburgh, Leith)

Sharp practice.

Mr. Martin

I do not know whether it was sharp practice. I merely make the point that the amendments were made and it would be erroneous to suggest that what was agreed in Edinburgh was the same as what was being considered at the Joint Committee.

When the people who represented the opposers—the petitioners against—came before the commissioners, in some cases those who were giving evidence were treated rather high-handedly. It is on record, because there was a transcript of every day's proceedings. Some people who represented voluntary organisations gave evidence and some commissioners gave the impression that they had already made up their minds before they had heard them. There is no need to take my word for it, because the transcript shows that on a number of occasions I had to interject and ask commissioners not to treat witnesses in such a manner. Certainly it was my opinion that some commissioners had made up their minds before they had heard all the evidence.

Mr. Albert McQuarrie (Banff and Buchan)


Mr. Martin

That is true. I am certainly not referring to myself. Anyone who was there and heard the way that some witnesses were being ridiculed by the commissioners would have gained the impression that the commissioners had made up their minds.

Mr. McQuarrie

I apologise to the hon. Gentleman for having to leave, but I am expecting an important telephone call. Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that the people who had made up their minds were Members of the House, or were they independent members of the panel? There were two independent members of the panel and two Members of the House. Is he suggesting that Members of the House had prejudged the commission's inquiries?

Mr. Martin

There was a report in The Scotsman in which it was mentioned that the hon. Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden had said to Mr. Oliver Barrett, a member of the Cockburn Association, during a tea break or lunch break in St. Giles restaurant, "You will get your road whether you like it or not."

Lord James Douglas Hamilton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that he is making a serious allegation, which is strongly disputed and rejected?

Mr. Martin

That is not an allegation that I am making against the hon. Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden. That was the report in The Scotsman, which is a reputable newspaper, and it has not been retracted. I say only that there is a record to that effect. If the hon. Gentleman comes to the Chamber he will be able to put the matter right, but that was the allegation as it appeared in print, and I have seen no record of its being withdrawn.

Mr. Robin Cook

As Mr. Oliver Barrett is present in the Palace, would it not be a satisfactory way of disposing of this to summon him to the Bar to confirm what has been said?

Mr. Martin

I am not an expert on the procedure for getting members of the public to the Bar. However, at least Mr. Barrett would be able to set the record straight, as would the hon. Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The hon. Gentleman has not produced the article from The Scotsman. My recollection of that article is that it did not mention Oliver Barrett quoting the hon. Member whom he has suggested. If the hon. Gentleman can produce the article, it might help us.

Mr. Martin

I can only go on my recollection, but I, certainly remember Mr. Oliver Barrett's name being mentioned. If I am wrong, I will withdraw the name of Mr. Oliver Barrett.

It is on record that members of the public who opposed the order were not treated in a way in which members of the public opposing an order should be treated. I had to interject on a number of occasions because of that. In fact, in his summing-up, Lord James Clyde asked the commissioners to remember that because they were dealing with voluntary organisations they should not treat them as cranks. I think he was giving a hint that that was the way in which they had been treated.

The other two commissioners did their job, and they did their best under the circumstances. However, some criticism should be levelled at the other place. I mean this as constructive criticism. It is my firm belief that, had there been other parliamentary commissioners from the other place, the order would not have had the stormy passage that it received. As I said, we were dealing with parliamentary legislation. If we had had two commissioners from the other place, we would have had people who had foremost in their minds the fact that parliamentary legislation is more important than anything else, and that would have been a primary consideration. Instead of that, we heard more evidence about the road than about the order, which is what we were there to look at.

On a motion, which I think was moved by the hon. Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, we said that we would leave aside Lord James Clyde's motion on whether Lothian should go back and prepare an order which included only the railway. In other words, we decided to leave it until we had some more evidence. That motion was carried, but we went on to hear all the evidence. Therefore, we did not even carry out the terms of the motion that we passed.

I have had differences of opinion with Lothian regional council about the road, and I made my views known to it in as fair a way as I could at the time. However, I want to put on record the fact that Lothian regional council was responsible for looking after the parliamentary commissioners and that it did so in an excellent way. It looked after our needs for refreshments and coffee, which is important when one is conducting an inquiry over a period of three and a half months.

We had telephone facilities so that we could contact our secretaries, and we had typing facilities. The council looked after us in every way and answered our every request. Therefore, in spite of the fact that I was away from the House for three and a half months I made many friends in Edinburgh and on the Lothian regional council. I did not make friends just with Members of the Labour party, as the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. McQuarrie) suggests. The hon. Gentleman knows that we had an excellent relationship with officials and elected Members from the Conservative party.

Although I have been in Edinburgh many times, I was impressed when I travelled up to the Mound, which is where the Lothian regional council buildings are, and where people live in the centre of Edinburgh. Old tenemental buildings which have been refurbished are to be seen cheek by jowl with some of the historic buildings of Edinburgh. Human beings live in Edinburgh after the office workers have left and the business is finished for the day.

That is what I remember about Glasgow as a boy before the motorways took over. Not only Glasgow but many other places are spending millions to get the population back into the city centre. I say to the people of Edinburgh and to hon. Members who represent Edinburgh that they should watch roadway proposals very carefully. Edinburgh has something worth cherishing, and it should be guarded, because if it is not the people of Edinburgh could lose one of their finest assets.

8.26 pm
Mr. Albert McQuarrie (Banff and Buchan)

I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on this Bill because I served as one of the Members of this House on the Joint Committee.

I think that my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton) has very lucidly set out the need for the Bill. As he said, it has been promoted by the Lothian regional council, and the main objectives of the order are set out in a statement issued by the promoters. The order was (1) to authorise the council to construct a new road in the western sector of the city of Edinburgh which will bypass, and thereby relieve, residential and shopping areas suffering from traffic congestion; (2) to divert a portion of the Edinburgh/Glasgow railway line in order to make room for the new road without demolishing a large number of local authority dwellings; and (3) to acquire land for the above-mentioned purposes. It was pointed out in the statement that the road would be approximately four miles in length. It would not be a motorway and would not form a part of the motorway network for the city, it would be a dual carriageway with low design criteria and its junctions would be roundabouts or controlled traffic lights. The statement also pointed out that the areas to be bypassed by the road were Corstorphine, Murrayfield, Roseburn, Sighthill, Stenhouse, Gorgie and Dairy and that those areas currently suffer from traffic congestion on the two main roads connecting central Edinburgh with central and western Scotland. It also pointed out that over 80,000 people live in those areas and an even greater number rely on them for shopping or local services.

The statement said that the road would divert over 30,000 vehicles each day from existing congested roads and would give further opportunity to reduce the traffic problems by management and traffic restraint measures which would be impossible without a new road.

My hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, West said that the road would not generate new traffic because of the existing traffic restraint policy in the city. I think that he made that clear during his discussions. As the hon. Member for Glasgow, Springburn (Mr. Martin) said, the inquiry in Edinburgh lasted for 52 sitting days. The nature of the inquiry was certainly much broader than had been anticipated, as we heard from the comments made by the hon. Member for Springburn on Second Reading on 4 December. The hon. Gentleman went on to say that the commissioners had heard full and lengthy arguments for and against the road and found, by a majority, that the preamble to the order was proved. Therefore it came to the House.

On 4 December 1985 the Bill received its Second Reading. A number of hon. Members spoke during that debate. Much play was made of the fact that, if Conservative Members who were promoting the Lothian Region (Edinburgh Western Relief Road) Order Confirmation Bill would be prepared to refer it to a Joint Committee of both Houses, it would be looked upon with favour. It is worth drawing attention to what was said by those hon. Members who took part in the debate.

My hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Fletcher) moved a motion, that Mr. Speaker felt inclined to accept, that the Bill should be committed to a Joint Committee of both Houses. That provided my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Central with the opportunity to put his case for referral to a Joint Committee. That is to be found in column 354 of the Official Report of 4 December 1985.

In column 364 of the Official Report, my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Central said: I note what my hon. Friend said about the motion that I have on the Order Paper that the Bill should be committed to a Joint Committee of both Houses. I do not propose to enlarge upon that. If that were the decision of the House, it would allow further discussion on some of these matters. The hon. Member for Springburn who, as he has just told us, was the chairman of the commission, agreed that a Joint Committee of both Houses should consider the matter. In column 367 of the Official Report he said: I am glad the hon. Gentleman accepts that a Joint Committee of both Houses should consider this matter.

Mr. Martin

Will the hon. Gentleman accept that the reason that I asked for the matter to be looked at by a Joint Committee was in the context that hon. Members should not be taken away from the House for a long period? Does he agree that the Joint Committee agreed that this procedure should be reviewed in the light of what has happened?

Mr. McQuarrie

According to the Official Report, the hon. Gentleman did not make it clear that hon. Members should not be taken away from the House. To be fair to him, further down column 367 he said: I could not come to the House for three and a half months". That is the point that the hon. Gentleman was trying to make. However, he admitted that he was glad that a Joint Committee of both Houses would consider the matter.

On the Opposition Front Bench on that occasion was the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Maxton). In column 371 of the Official Report he said:

However, if the Bill is passed, I warmly welcome the disclosure that the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West is prepared to accept the procedure of a Joint Committee of both Houses because at least that will allow the matter to be considered in more detail before the proposal is passed. Therefore, I ask my hon. Friends to weigh their decision carefully before they cast their votes."—[Official Report, 4 December 1985, Vol. 88, c. 364–71.] There were also petitions to the House, including the humble petition of Edinburgh district council. It set out why the Bill should not receive a Second Reading. I shall not weary the House with the petition. A great deal was said about it during the debate on 4 December 1985. However, I wish to refer to page 7 of the petition, which says: Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that your Hon. House may see fit to refer the confirming Bill to a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament and that the Order may not be allowed to pass into law and that they may be heard by themselves, their Counsel, Agents and witnesses in support of the allegations of this Petition against the Preamble to the Order". My point is that Edinburgh district council also supported the setting up of a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament.

There was another set of objectors. There were 38 of them, including the Cockburn association. It prayed along similar lines to the prayer of the Edinburgh district council. Page 5 of the petition says:

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that your Hon. House may see fit to refer the confirming Bill to a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament"— [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes) was a member of the Lothian regional council. It is a pity that he was not a baillie. If he had been a baillie, he might have hanged himself with a chain—or perhaps it is fortunate that he did not, or we should have missed his windbagging from a sedentary position. However, he will not turn me from the point that I want to make.

In its wisdom, the House decided on 4 December to refer the Bill to a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament. In due course, a Joint Committee was set up. It included three hon. Members from this House and three Members from the other place. It sat for just over six weeks and listened to the presentation of cases from eminent counsel, professors, specialists, consultants and ordinary witnesses who put their views for and against the road. It heard representatives of Edinburgh district council. I resent the imputation of the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley that no consideration was given to the matter.

The hon. Member for Springburn referred to The Scotsman. On 20 January 1986, under the heading "Row over choice of relief road 'jury'", it said: The all-party parliamentary committee which is to provide the next hurdle for the Edinburgh Western Relief Road Confirmation Bill has been selected on a blatantly political basis, road objectors of all parties said yesterday. It then referred to those who would possibly sit on Joint Committee.

Lord Ferrier was quoted as saying that he intended to appear before the Joint Committee and speak against the Bill in the House of Lords. He said of the appointments, although they had not been made at that time, that they were nonsense and that he was going to complain to the Clerk of the Private Bill Office and ask what was going on. He said: I think we are being taken for a ride. I challenged Lord Ferrier during the Joint Committee proceedings. He said that he did not remember saying that to The Scotsman. He could not remember what he had said. I am not surprised, because he told us about his road building experiences in India.

That shows, however, that there was some bias in the press against the Joint Committee. The implication was that it would not do its job properly. I resent that implication. Had those who made these assertions been present during the Joint Committee deliberations, they would have found that we listened attentively to the cross-questioning of the witnesses.

We wanted to ascertain whether or not this western link road was essential.

One of the comments made by the noble Lord was to the effect that hon. Members of the Commons who were sitting on the Joint Committee should not have voted for the referral which Mr. Speaker in his wisdom joined to the Second Reading. I put it to the noble Lord and to the Committee that a Member of this House is considered to be an hon. Member and if an hon. Member is appointed to any Committee he must go in with a totally unbiased view.

The hon. Member for Springburn has left the Chamber, probably to go down to the Harcourt Room, a place to which he accused several of my hon. Friends of going. I am sorry he is not here to listen to what I have to say. He made an absolutely scurrilous attack upon my hon. Friend the Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Mr. Hirst). That was an attack by imputation, because my hon. Friend the Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden was the only Member of this House who was present at that inquiry.

If the hon. Member for Springburn was suggesting that an hon. Member made up his mind before the objectors were heard, the only Member he could have been referring to was my hon. Friend the Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden. Knowing my hon. Friend as I do, I know he would not stoop to the sort of thing suggested by the hon. Member for Springburn. I resent the fact that the hon. Member for Springburn should act in such a way towards another hon. Member.

In the Joint Committee we studied the situation and listened attentively to the people who appeared before us. The inquiry in Edinburgh took three months and the people who were heard in Edinburgh were also heard—or their representatives, because all 38 people from the Cockburn association did not come here—by the Select Committee. All the professionals and consultants were heard and the paper filled a corner of the House of Commons Committee Room. We received miles of paper in the course of our deliberations. It was virtually a re-run of what took place in Edinburgh. Then there was a semi re-run of it down here.

The hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang) is the only one who did not mention referring the Bill to the Joint Committee, because his speech was interrupted by my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, West moving the closure. We do not know whether my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, East supported the referral or whether he would have gone against it. That may be in his favour or against him. I am worried about the massive expense of the inquiry to the ratepayers of Lothian and Edinburgh and the taxpayers in general.

The Bill then came down to the House for a Second Reading to which all Members agreed and sent it to the Joint Committee. The Joint Committee considered it over a period of six weeks at considerable expense; and now the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East objects to it. I am not suggesting that the hon. Member did anything irregular, but the will of this House was to refer it to the Joint Committee and Opposition Members said they were glad they would be given an opportunity to be seriously heard. They are doubting the integrity of the members of that Joint Committee of both Houses. That is a sad reflection of the Opposition. It is certainly no reflection on the members of the Joint Committee, who worked extremely hard. They were drawn from all parties and were not just Conservatives.

Mr. Maxton

Was it a unanimous report?

Mr. McQuarrie

It is not for me to tell the House whether it was or not. The deliberations of the Committee were in private. When the hon. Member for Glasgow, Springburn told the House something of the deliberations of the Committee, I did not bother to intervene and let him know the position because he should have known himself that deliberations are in private. Although leaks happen from time to time, they may be informed or ill informed. It is not for me to say whether there was a majority of one, two, three or four, or whether it was a unanimous decision.

Mr. Foulkes

We all know.

Mr. McQuarrie

The hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, in his usual magician's way, thinks he knows the answer, but he knows very little about it.

Mr. Dennis Canavan (Falkirk, West)

The hon. Gentleman talked about expense. Could he enlighten the House about who paid for the junket in Locket's restaurant to which hon. Members were invited by Tory councillor Brian Meeke to try to persuade them to vote for this road?

Mr. McQuarrie

I would not have said it was a junket. It was an informal presentation. I am sure hon. Members on both sides of the House go to informal presentations. It was not a junket.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Ernest Armstrong)

Order. We are debating the Third Reading of the Bill, and hon. Members ought to get back to it.

Mr. McQuarrie

I trust I was not straying from the debate. I was merely trying to answer the question by the hon. Member for Falkirk, West (Mr. Canavan). However, I shall return to the debate. The Joint Committee ultimately reached a decision and found the preamble proved.

Mr. Maxton

It was not unanimous.

Mr. McQuarrie

It is all very well for the hon. Member for Cathcart to say from his sedentary position that it was not unanimous. That is for the hon. Member to speculate. There was nothing printed in the report to say whether or not it was unanimous. Someone might have said that there was a majority, but it is up to the Committee to decide. I will not be forced to digress from my speech, because that is what the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley was trying to do to my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, West.

Having found the preamble proved, the Committee then had representations by opponents to the scheme. These were duly considered by the Committee and a decision made about them. Now the Bill has returned to the House.

Before I leave the matter of the deliberations of the Joint Committee, I should like to refer to what my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, West said about expenses. As we know, in their wisdom the commissioners inserted into the Bill a provision that the Cockburn association objectors should be paid two thirds of their expenses. There seemed to be some difficulty about paying those expenses. First of all, Lothian regional council decided that, as the matter had been referred to the Joint Committee, it was still sub judice and the council could not pay the expenses at that time. There was a plea to the effect that, while two thirds of the expenses of the Edinburgh inquiry would be paid, there was to be no money to pay the Cockburn association expenses for the parliamentary inquiry through the Joint Committee. On that point I sympathise with the comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, West.

As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Perth and Kinross (Mr. Fairbairn) said, the Joint Committee deliberated upon that and found there was no legal way that the Committee could reach a decision on the expenses to be awarded to the appellants. It is fair to say that there was merit in the case made by the objectors for some payment of the expenses they had incurred. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, West, I hope that Lothian regional council will look at this matter sympathetically and see what can be done.

I disagree with what the hon. Member for Springburn, said about an ordinary person not having an opportunity to present himself at the public inquiry. That point was raised by hon. Members during the deliberations of the Joint Committee and it was clear that any ordinary person could have appeared at the public inquiry and made his case.

My hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, West referred to the fact that the Transport and General Workers Union had sent a letter asking for support for the passage of the western relief road Bill. My hon. Friend referred to the 1,500 jobs that would be created. The hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley said in an intervention that many roads could be built anywhere in Scotland without objection. From his experience in local government and his parliamentary experience, the hon. Gentleman knows that very few major roads are built in Scotland without objection and without a public inquiry.

Mr. Foulkes


Mr. McQuarrie

I am not giving way. The hon. Gentleman was trying to bring in a red herring.

The proposal has been examined by the Transport and General Workers Union, which sees the economic benefits and the benefit of a reduction in the number of accidents. It is invidious and ridiculous that Opposition Members, who talk continually about unemployment and the need to support the trade unions, should not accept what the Transport and General Workers Union puts forward. I may not be correct, but I think the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East is a sponsored Member of that union.

Mr. Gavin Strang (Edinburgh, East)

I want to set the record straight and to make it clear that the brother who wrote that letter did it on his individual initiative. Having spoken to the regional secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union in Scotland today, I can confirm that that is not the policy of that union. Hon. Members are free to quote the letter and to quote the points made in it, but it is not the policy of the Transport and General Workers Union.

Mr. McQuarrie

The hon. Member is suggesting that the letter from the Transport and General Workers Union, Transport house, 290 Bath Street, Glasgow, signed by George Wilmshurst, construction trades co-ordinator, is a lie.

Mr. Strang

No, I did not say that.

Mr. McQuarrie

He says that it is not the policy of the union, but the letter seeks support for the passing of the private Bill.

Mr. Michael Hirst (Strathkelvin and Bearsden)

Is my hon. Friend aware that Mr. Wilmshurst does not qualify his letter in any way, and starts off by saying: The Transport and General Workers' Union favours the building of the Edinburgh Western Relief Road"? Does my hon. Friend find it bizarre that the union appears to have a spokesman who does not speak for it, according to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang)?

Mr. McQuarrie

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that comment. That is exactly how I see it. Trade unions do not write to Conservative Members seeking support for the passing of a Bill unless they are anxious to see that Bill passed. The hon. Member for Edinburgh, East wants to get his act together.

The Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians also wrote on 4 March: I herewith confirm that our Union agree that this road should be given priority owing to the lack of work in the Construction Industry at present. As you know my colleague from the T&GWU listed various figures showing the unemployment situation in our industry. In a further letter on 12 March, the same gentleman, Mr. A. Fraser, the acting regional secretary, said;

I, herewith, confirm that our Union agree that this road should be given priority owing to the lack of work in the Construction Industry at present. As you know my colleague from the T&GWU listed various figures showing the unemployment situation in our industry. I trust we can count on your support in Parliament next Tuesday, 18th March, 1986. The Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors also sought support for the passing of the Bill. It points out the problems faced by the construction industry. [HON. MEMBERS: "That is not a trade union."] It is a contractors trade union of which I was proud to be a member. It points out that 1,500 jobs would be created, but Opposition Members do not want those jobs in Edinburgh.

Mr. Maxton

It is disgraceful that the hon. Member, who has consistently supported the Government who have cut capital expenditure on schools, hospitals, road programmes, housing and everything else in Scotland, and who have created the unemployment in the construction industry, should now quote a trade union in his support.

Mr. McQuarrie

I shall not go down the road of the hon. Member for Cathcart. Obviously, he is ill-informed regarding cuts in hospitals, schools and so on. He wants to get his facts right. He should look back to the 1977 era of the Labour Government.

A document issued by the standing joint committee of the Royal Automobile Club, the Automobile Association and the Royal Scottish Automobile Club says that it fully supports the concept of the proposed relief road. There is no doubt whatsoever that the road is urgently needed to enhance the amenity and environment of the area, to reduce injuries from road accidents and to improve traffic movement and access. The Committee is aware of your agreement with these views, from your support for the measure at Second Reading, and hopes that you will make every endeavour to again vote in support of the Bill at the Third Reading. Enough money has been wasted on the Bill in Edinburgh, in the House, on referral to the joint committee and again in the House tonight. I commend the Bill to the House. I hope hon. Members will do the honourable thing and vote for the Third Reading.

8.57 pm
Mr. Robin Cook (Livingston)

I have a constituency interest in the matter, in that the proposed line of the road starts at the border between my constituency and that of the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton). There is also within my constituency the entire length of the proposed M8 extension, which is intimately bound up with the future of the western relief road, and to which I shall return later.

I have a couple of other reasons for intervening in the debate. I think that I am the sole Member of the House who happens to be a resident of Corstorphine in the constituency of the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West, although I am unable to show him that I happen to be part of his slim majority.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mr. Craigen) is as well.

Mr. Cook

Indeed. The hon. Gentleman is correct. My hon. Friend joins me in that distinction. We are two of those whom the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West, assures the House will be reduced to a life of frustration and degradation if the Bill does not receive its Third Reading. I assure the House that I shall attempt to face that future with as much philosophy as I can muster, and I shall seek to explain why I strongly believe that this is not a measure which should receive its Third Reading.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Will the hon. Member accept that I was making that comment in the context of the £100 million development getting the go-ahead in the absence of the western relief road?

Mr. Cook

The solution to that problem is perfectly simple. It is that the £100 million development should not go ahead and, as the Member for Livingston, I have a perfectly clear case for saying that Lothian region, which is the promoter of the Bill, should stand by its own strategic plan, shut out that proposal and affirm Livingston as a major shopping centre for the western part of the Lothian. This would be entirely consistent with the policy of the promoters of the Bill.

My main reason for seeking to intervene is that for a decade I was the Member for Edinburgh, Central, where the western relief road terminates, and I have a considerable affection still for the centre of Edinburgh. I believe that the central community of Edinburgh represents one of the successful examples of a living community within a city centre. I can say that with some objectivity, since I was not born in Edinburgh, but in Bells hill, but I must admit that the centre of Edinburgh is considerably more elegant than the centre of Bells hill.

The reason why the centre of Edinburgh is so successful is that it retains a large body of people who are prepared, and want, to live there. I have to confess that I consider the centre slightly less civilised now that it returns a Conservative rather than a Labour Member of Parliament. I am surprised to note that the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Fletcher), who replaced me as the representative of that constituency, has chosen to attend only the first half hour of this debate and has not been present for the last one and a half hours.

I would put it to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central, that he holds one of the few seats held by the Conservative party bang in the middle of a major city. The reason why this is possible is that Edinburgh is one of the few cities in which the middle class have still not moved out of the town centre, but seek to stay there because it is an attractive environment and a pleasant place in which to live. The overwhelming reason for Edinburgh being a pleasant place to live in is that it has not made the mistake of other cities by ringing its inner city and strangling it with urban motorways.

I must admit that this was an accident. The progressives who ruled Edinburgh in the 1960s had grandiose plans to build an urban motorway wherever they could find the space, and in many cases where they could not find the space. But the progressives, bless them, could never brace themselves to spend the money to build the motorway. Therefore, at a time when motorways were fashionable, none was built in Edinburgh. Since then, they have learnt from the mistakes of other cities—a fate that would have been theirs had those roads been built. We can see that fate in other cities. My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Springburn (Mr. Martin) talked eloquently about the problems that arose around the motorways in Glasgow, and similar problems have occurred elsewhere in Scotland and, to an even greater extent, in England.

There is the example of the havoc created by these urban motorways in Carlisle, where the urban motorway that goes into the city centre is called the Georgian way. When, on my first visit to the Georgian way, I asked how it came by this curious title, because I could see no Georgian houses on either side, I was assured by the chairman of the planning committee that it had been named the Georgian way after the Georgian houses that had been pulled down to make way for the dual carriageway.

That is a mistake that Edinburgh has avoided, and the residents of the Edinburgh city centre have now come to realise that if they wish to preserve their community and their environment this can be done only by resisting every fresh attempt to drive a new road into the centre of the city. In my time as the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central I had to resist a number of such proposals, including, most obviously, a clear parallel with the proposal before the House tonight, the British relief road. I would say to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West, who paraded a number of arguments in favour of the western relief road—that it would relieve traffic on the city streets, that if it was not built those streets would become congested, that it would provide additional environmental measures without which the residents would be reduced to a life of frustration and degradation—that those same arguments were paraded a decade ago in support of the British relief road. But we stopped it because we were not convinced, and life on the south side of Edinburgh continues very much as it did 15 years ago before that proposal was mooted.

The reason why all those roads have been resisted is that any new road is likely to bring more traffic. More and bigger roads mean more and faster traffic. The hon. Member for Edinburgh, West attempted to make the case that the western relief road, uniquely in the history of dual carriageways, would not attract a single additional form of transport into the city centre. I do not believe that. One of my reasons is that, from experience as the Member for Livingston I am aware of the proposals for the M8 extension, which is designed to join the outer-city bypass at precisely the point at which the western relief road leaves it. That, in turn, is a variation on the original proposals which we debated 10 or 15 years ago, when we insisted that the M8 extension should meet the outer city bypass at a different point. Motorists did not then have the incentive to travel on into the centre of Edinburgh.

It is proposed that we should have a motorway system which enables one to drive from Greenock through Glasgow, on to the M8 to Newbridge, on to the M8 extension and the outer city bypass and then along the proposed western relief road until all that motorway traffic suddenly comes to a dead halt at a set of traffic lights stuck at the bottom of Lothian road. It makes no sense to connect the centre of Edinburgh with Glasgow along a dual carriageway system that suddenly terminates there.

The hon. Member for Edinburgh, West suggested that there might also be a car park for 1,500 cars. Lothian region has also proposed that, but it has never finalised its planning proposals. Lothian region asked the House for permission to spend £37 million on the western relief road, but it has never braced itself to spend the money on building a car park for 1,500 cars at the eastern end of the western relief road. So motorists will find not a car park, but just a set of traffic lights.

If traffic is encouraged to use the motorway system, the M8 extension, and thenthe western reliefroad, the volume of traffic focused on that point in the centre of Edinburgh will eventually oblige the planners to devise new ways of getting the traffic through the city centre and out the other side. If half a through road is built, the pressure of traffic will eventually oblige planners to think of building the other half of it.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that since my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has approved the plans for that car park building, the region has given me to understand that it has every intention of going ahead with it?

Mr. Cook

I am informed that the region has hitherto been unable and unwilling to finance such a project, and is still looking for a promoter. The region's original position was that the district council should build the car park. That adds insult to injury.

What is proposed is a perverse conjunction. On the one hand, the region wishes to construct an outer-city bypass, but, on the other, that same highway authority proposes a through road to channel the traffic into the city centre. Logically speaking, both cannot be done at the same time. If the future of handling traffic coming from the west of the city lies in an outer-city bypass, that bypass should be given a chance to prove itself without having the experiment weakened by the construction of a road that will funnel traffic into the city centre.

The alternative requested by those in central Edinburgh is clear. It is an alternative that has been endorsed by the residents of Gorgie-Dalry, to whom the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West referred with such touching concern. But as recently as last night the Gorgie-Dalry community council affirmed its opposition to the western relief road, because it does not believe the figures given by the hon. Gentleman for the relief that the western relief road will provide for Gorgie-Dalry. It believes—history proves it right—that if that new road is built there will be more traffic in the city centre, which will mean that the residents will see their environment deteriorate.

The alternative is to find methods of traffic management which, far from inducing more traffic to the city, will discourage and decrease it. That brings me to the curious position taken by the Bill's promoters. They say that if the road is built they can then undertake traffic management schemes to improve the environment in places such as Gorgie-Dalry. However, when the matter was considered in Committee, and whenever an amendment was tabled to insert traffic management schemes into the proposed Bill, it was resisted by the Bill's promoters. They believe that the road should be built first and traffic management schemes can then be tried. That is the wrong way round. We should first try traffic management schemes, which will cost only a fraction of the cost of the road, and if they fail the promoters can come back and make a case for an additional road to cope with additional traffic. Let us have traffic management proposals first, not last.

Mr. Fairbairn

The hon. Gentleman has not read any of the documents, far less the evidence. The traffic management schemes proposed by the promoters cannot take place unless the western relief road is built. On the contrary, the objectors, for whom the hon. Gentleman speaks, proposed not traffic management schemes but schemes which would enable even greater flows of traffic to pass through Gorgie-Dalry and Stenhouse and reach the centre of Edinburgh even more quickly, knocking down large amounts of property and destroying large numbers of jobs in the process. The hon. Gentleman should read the evidence.

Mr. Cook

My objection to the road does not oblige me to support every objection made to the Bill. My objection is that the measure will bring more traffic to the centre of Edinburgh. From my long acquaintance with central Edinburgh, I would be astonished if the Cockburn association committed itself to a proposition which would enable more traffic to reach the city centre. An obvious traffic management proposal which would obviate the need to build the road is to reduce the capacity of the city centre to absorb cars by reducing parking opportunities and by introducing great opportunities for public transport.

That brings me to the second option available to us. I am sponsored not by the Transport and General Workers' Union but by the National Union of Railwaymen. The Bill has one clear consequence. There will have to be a realignment of the main Edinburgh-Glasgow railway line. That realignment will involve considerable additional engineering works. British Rail, which is in a position to know, has calculated that for 18 months that additional work on engineering requirments will mean a five-minute delay on the Edinburgh-Glasgow service. I remind the House that the end result will be a two-minute advantage for motorists when the road is completed. If we are serious about discouraging people from travelling by car and about generating the sort of impact on the city centre to which I have referred, it is ludicrous to propose a measure which will make rail less attractive compared with the competing mode of transport by car.

Mr. McQuarrie

The hon. Gentleman should get his facts right. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Perth and Kinross (Mr. Fairbairn) said, at no time has it been accepted that there will be an 18-month delay. Evidence to the Joint Committee varied from 12 to 18 months, and it was admitted that it would be the responsibility of the contractor, once the contract was let, to decide how he would carry out the work involved, for example in Balgreen road. There may be no delay.

Mr. Cook

I am perfectly happy to split the differance with the hon. Gentleman and compromise on 15 months. My confidence that it will be the lower rather than the higher figure is not enhanced by his submission that the contractor will decide how the work will be done. It is perfectly clear from the eviidence provided by the district council to every hon. Member that there will be considerable additional engineering requirements for building the railway line and that this cannot be achieved without disruption the rail services for perhaps more than a year.

On Monday, there will be an historic achievement in Midlothian, because on that day the Bathgate line is to be opened up to passenger traffic once again. I give credit where it is due. The former Secretary of State was extremely sympathetic to this proposal when I and my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) went to him with it, and throughout the past two years he has been supportive of the case for re-opening the Bathgate line to passenger traffic.

If the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. McQuarrie) cares to delve back in history, he will find that it was not a particularly sensible proposal, nor very clever planning, to close the Bathgate line in the same year that a new town was designated—Livingston—slap bang on the line that was being closed to passenger traffic. We are undoing that damage of 20 years ago, and as from Monday passengers will be able to travel that line and the passenger service will be restored.

I do not disagree with the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West when he says that restoring the Bathgate line will have a moderately modest impact on the number of cars travelling into west Edinburgh. There is another way in which, now that passenger traffic is being restored and that line has been upgraded, it can make much more than a modest impact on traffic coming along the A8 into the Corstorphine end of Edinburgh. If we were to take the opportunity provided for us to supply a park-and-ride facility at Newbridge, we could make inroads into the number of car-borne people coming into the centre of Edinburgh by providing for them a public transport facility at far less cost than it would require to construct the road to get them into the city centre in their cars.

This is a highly contentious measure. There was a suggestion earlier that within the Joint Committee the divisions were entirely on party political lines, but the hon. Gentleman declined to confirm whether or not that was so.

Mr. McQuarrie


Mr. Cook

If the hon. Member will let me finish my sentence, he might find that he is committing himself with undue haste. It is certainly the case that in the Lothian regional council and the Edinburgh district council the divisions have been on party lines. In Lothian region, because of the extremely tight party political balance, frequently this major proposal has been given approval on the basis of the casting vote of the chairman of the committee. The proposal is contentious, with a very narrow basis of political support within the regional council itself, and it is now proposed that this measure be approved on Third Reading tonight.

We understand that Lothian region is standing by ready to let the first contracts immediately. Why the haste? On 4 May that political balance will alter. There can be no doubt about that.

The hon. Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Mr. Hirst) may laugh, but if he seriously expects that the Conservative party will emerge with the same number of regional councillors in Lothian on 8 May, his optimism exceeds the views of any known Conservative Member of Lothian region. That balance will change. There will no longer be a majority on that council for this proposal.

I would regard it as highly improper if Lothian region, while it still has that casting vote majority, committed the ratepayers and residents of Lothian region to this major project in its dying days. If there is the slightest suspicion that Lothian region is prepared to take that improper step, I believe that the House would be wise to make sure that it does not grant it permission to do so.

The House and Lothian region would be well advised to delay any start on this project until we have the opportunity to consider the impact of the outer city bypass on traffic coming into the city centre, and until we have the opportunity to determine whether the figures quoted by the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West are correct—an opportunity which will arise only next year. Given the imminence of the opportunity to put to the test the figures that the hon. Gentleman quoted, I believe that there can be no case for the House giving the Bill a Third Reading at this time.

9.19 pm
Mr. Nicholas Fairbairn (Perth and Kinross)

I listened with interest to the remarks of the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook). As one of those who serve on the Joint Committee, of both Houses, I shall address my self to the priority of the mechanism used to consider this matter. Although a Joint Committee has only once been used for a Scottish Bill, it has frequently been proposed as the correct mechanism. The advice of the Chairman of Ways and Means and the Lord Advocate on all those occasions has been that the procedure was inappropriate and should not be adopted unless certain fundamental characteristics were fulfilled.

In 1920, the Chairman of Ways and Means, Mr. Whitley, said: I should have taken objection to the Motion to refer the matter to a Joint Committee of the two Houses. I say that because I think it my duty to straighten the hands of the Commissioners who conduct the inquiries into this matter. I hold very strongly that it is the duty of petitioners to bring their case before the tribunal in Scotland, and that this House ought not to consider any revision of the decision of those Commissioners if the petitioners have failed to put their case before the Commissioners sitting in Scotland, and in no case to allow a review of those decisions unless some wholly new facts have arisen."—[Official Report, 3 December 1920: Vol. 135. c. 1610.] That was confirmed by the Member of Parliament for Edinburgh, East (Mr. John Wheatley), who said:

the House would be slow to give effect to any such Motion unless they were satisfied, prima facie, on the case presented that some large and important constitutional issue was raised, or that some material miscarriage of justice had been effected; and that they would not sanction the repetition of the previous procedure and a rehearing of the case unless conditions such as I have indicated were satisfied."—[Official Report, 20 July 1950; Vol. 477, c. 2568.] In this case, the matter was agreed, as I understand it. Therefore, quite inappropriately, the matter was referred to a commission of both Houses with an apparent open brief to reconduct the inquiry of the parliamentary commissioner. That was wrong and an abuse of the process that should never happen again. I say these things because it is as if the requirements on the Joint Committee, which are essentially the requirements and functions of an appeal court, were in some way dissolved by the agreement between the two sides that it should be referred to them.

It is as if, in an appeal court, the fact that leave to appeal had been granted removed from the appeal court the restriction of its function. We know what the functions of the appeal courts are. The fact that any Committee of both Houses has those limited functions was stated by the Chairman of Ways and Means in 1920, was restated by the Lord Advocate in 1948 and since that time has frequently been stated when attempts have been made to refer Scottish Bills to such a Committee.

I cannot complain that the Committee had to undergo a complete retrial of the position. It is important for the future that rulings should be made by the Chair and by the Clerks that, where it is agreed or not agreed that a matter on a Scottish Bill should be remitted to a Joint Committee of both Houses, the writ of the Committee runs only to investigate new circumstances, constitutional impropriety or other such matters as I have read in the judgments given to the House.

I asked those acting on behalf of the petitioners against the Bill if they had any such grounds, if there was any new position, if there had been constitutional impropriety or if there was any reason whereby they could sustain the fundamental requirements set out in the opinion of the Chairman of Ways and Means in 1920 and the Lord Advocate in 1948, and I was told that there was none.

At the conclusion of the evidence, I again asked whether a single fact had been brought before us which had not been brought before the commissioners in the original 5-day inquiry and I was told that there was none. It seemed that it would be quite improper for those sitting in judgment in the Committee of both Houses to interfere with the judgment of parliamentary commissioners properly constituted, without a reason or fact being shown as to why we should do that. Fundamentally, the whole process is wrong and I trust that it will never be repeated unless such objections are properly raised and argued.

I should now like to examine the merits of the matter assuming that we have the right to consider them afresh—in the same way that Wimbledon should be replayed as McEnroe was irritated because he lost the first time round. The evidence for the promoters presented before the House was clear, substantivly argued and undented by cross-examination or by any evidence by the petitioners against it. It was backed by facts which were not contradicted but were conceded by the petitioners against the issue. There was a fundamental difficulty in that the promoters had set an objective which was to relieve the communities of Gorgie, Dalry, Stenhouse, Roseburn, Corstosphine and Murrayfield and that part of Edinburgh, by preventing the traffic from affecting the residents there. It is all very well for the hon. Member for Livingston, in his grand, compassionate, Socialist way, to say that that is fine for the residents and that if they did not like 24,000 cars rolling past their houses they would not live there and that if they did not like their children being knocked over on pedestrian crossings they would move. That is a fundamentally objectionable argument.

The promoters and their advisers addressed themselves to the problem of removing traffic from the communities in the areas of heavy traffic flow. They discovered that they could do that. I find it fundamentally impressive that the promoters commenced by telling their clients that they were not arguing whether the western relief road was a good idea; rather, they wanted to examine all the options. They wanted to look not just at the no-road option but at all the alternatives before deciding. They came up with the answer that it was an astonishing idea on environmental, cost, humane and noise grounds.

Mr. Maxton

Does the hon. and learned Gentleman really want a mile-and-a-half traffic jam every morning?

Mr. Fairbairn

The hon. Gentleman does not know the position. I know it better than he does. I have done more to preserve Edinburgh and to prevent inner road traffic jams than the hon. Gentleman has dreamt of.

I was equally impressed, in the reverse direction, by the letter by the so-called experts who accepted their remit. Even before the experts considered the proposal, they said, "We agree that we shall mount arguments against the western relief road." In other words, they said, "We are willing to accept our fee to argue the case against the road." That was similar to a surgeon saying, "I agree to recommend the amputation of the legs. Perhaps you will send me the patient later. Please include the fee." That sort of partiality was distinguished from the impartiality of the promoters' adivisers.

I am a life member of the Cockburn association and the National Trust and one of the founders of many of the preservation societies in Edinburgh. I am president of the Duddingston Preservation Society, in the constituency of the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang). No one should think that I do not accept that Edinburgh should be preserved.

The hon. Member for Livingston confused the insanity of the Abercrombie plan, the Buchanan plan and anything to do with Sir Robert Matthew, Percy Johnson-Marshall, Mr. Riach and Basil Spence, who built Coventry cathedral. Those people proposed a wonderful future for Edinburgh which would be achieved by knocking down buildings and building roads in their honour and by knocking down the beautiful buildings on Princes street and putting pedestrians on one level and cars on the other—all those theoretical architectural madnesses.

I have a confession to make, and I am sorry that the hon. Member for Livingston is not here to hear it. When I was standing for the seat of Edinburgh, Central, I suggested in my election manifesto that Edinburgh's great salvation would be achieved if the inner and outer railways were turned into roads. They have no shops, no pedestrians, no schools and no frontages. They disturb no one. They are like arteries which travel through the body without making the slightest impact.

In the end, there was only one argument against the road—that it would introduce more traffic to central Edinburgh. The hon. Member for Livingston presented, rather feebly, the argument that this was half a through route and that, eventually, one would be bound to build the other half. It is not half a through route—the route takes traffic that would travel anyway to its destination in the centre of Edinburgh. The bypass will take traffic away from communities.

We hear people talking about inner cities. I wish that they would come to Scotland to see them. The glory of Edinburgh and of other Scottish cities is that people live in the centre. In Edinburgh they live in Tollcross, Gorgie-Dalry, Morrison street, the Lothian road, and the new town. The whole centre is inhabited and that is the glory of our inner cities.

This road will take into an artery—as Lenin was put in a sealed coach—

Mr. Don Dixon (Jarrow)

John Lennon?

Mr. Fairbairn

I know that the hon. Member has prejudices, but I did not know that he could not spell. The artery road is a corridor. It knocks down one house and does not affect any community on the way. It relieves the great communities of Gorgie-Dalry and Stenhouse of the traffic which presently reduces the quality of their lives.

It is all very well for the hon. Member for Livingston to say, "They wouldn't live there if they didn't have it." They would much rather live there if they did not have the traffic. I am one of the most committed preservationists and one of those most dedicated to the fabric and glories of Edinburgh.

Mr. Strang

I acknowledge that to some extent. The hon. and learned Member has been on the side of the people of Edinburgh who have opposed these grandiose plans for roads which would destroy the city. How can he explain the fact that the Cockburn association, which he supports, is one of the organisations which, with the National Trust for Scotland, has opposed this road. Yet both of these organisations are on the other side of the argument.

Mr. Fairbairn

The associations did not consult their life members, of whom I am one, and I am not very impressed by the fact that, allegedly, the Cockburn association is against it. We have evidence from the Cockburn association and from Mr. Pinkerton, QC, whose evidence is not only unreliable but is simply untruthful, self-interested and swingeing. We have evidence from a doctor who said that he did not want his way of life to be altered. He said that he had a private parking space in Murray place and that he went to the Royal Infirmary and to the Western General and that he did not want a lot of traffic getting in his way. Therefore, I found the "impartial" evidence of the Cockburn association very different from the concepts for which I joined it as one of its first life members.

I found the evidence of the Labour councillor for Gorgie-Dalry, and the lady who lived in Tollcross, Mrs. Pamela Scott, very impressive. Their evidence was sincere and genuine. What I found odd about the evidence they gave was that they were willing to commit their residents to the horror of the new spur which they wanted to see at Morrison street. It would create infinitely worse environmental conditions.

Apart from anything else, about a third of a million trees would be added to Edinburgh—a great new line. The hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton) said that houses would need double glazing. Obviously he has not seen them. They already have double boarding. Not one is occupied.

Therefore, I regard all these complaints as false. If we must have an arterial road, I have never seen a scheme more civilised, more sensible and more safe, which will cause greater good and less inconvenience to anyone, than this arterial road. It will do nothing but improve the excellence of Edinburgh. For those who believe in public transport, it will improve and cheapen bus travel in Edinburgh. But it will not have a great effect on rail travel, about which the hon. Member for Livingston spoke, because about 5,000 acres of parking space would be needed if there was to be any effect on what I understand is called drive and ride when one leaves one's car at the station, and kiss and ride when one leaves one's wife and she takes the car. That was the evidence before the Committee.

Mr. Wallace

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman's clear presentation of his case, but it has been represented in one of the documents that we have had that one of the technical witnesses on behalf of one of the amenity groups conceded that the new road would not generate any traffic. Can he confirm that that concession was made?

Mr. Fairbairn

It was conceded not only by the witnesses but by counsel for the Cockburn association, for 38 amenity societies, for the National Trust and for the petitioners against the Edinburgh district council that there was no evidence that it would generate a single new car. That is an obvious fact. If one takes one's car to Edinburgh and cannot park it, one cannot use it.

One of the pieces of evidence that I found most hypocritical was that the Edinburgh district council will have to ask for planning permission for a hypermarket at the western end of the road with 5,000 car parking spaces. In other words, 5,000 cars will travel through Corstorphine, Gorgie-Dalry and Stenhouse in order to shop. That seems to me to be the ultimate hypocrisy.

This is one of the most civilised arterial roads that has ever been planned in a major city, the fabric of which must never be threatened.

9.48 pm
Mr. Ron Brown (Edinburgh, Leith)

In the House and elsewhere we hear trendy words such as infrastructure. I am sure that planners, architects and even some Tory Members might use that term, but for the average man and woman in the street it is like hiatus hernia or even perhaps a terminal illness. The so-called western relief road it means many things to many people. All sorts of experts can go before committees, as we have heard tonight, but in my part of the world, in Leith and Muirhouse, we see monuments to such people in the form of concrete tunnels and high-rise flats which are disasters. Yet those individuals who are called experts are applauded when they are mentioned in the Chamber. That is a sad fact, but it happens.

From time to time councils do get it right. Sometimes they get it left, as they did back in the early 1970s when the Buchanan report was rejected. That was a plan which would have brought more and more traffic into the centre of Edinburgh. The councillors, most of whom were Tories, realised that more traffic meant less amenity, less city and more urban problems, especially parking problems. We must appreciate that today the situation is even worse.

The Transport and General Workers Union and the Union of Communication, Allied Trades and Technicians have suggested that jobs are involved. I do not doubt that. It is interesting that the two letters that have been circulated come from two bureaucrats in Glasgow who by no means understand the Edinburgh position. I say "two bureaucrats" because yesterday I attended a meeting of rank and file members of UCATT and they disowned a letter issued by Mr. Fraser of that union. I trust the rank and file more than I trust the officials, and I speak from experience. To take the argument to its logical and obvious conclusion, we can get jobs and create work by building Trident or gas chambers. That is not my argument. The rank and file must be heard in this place. They are arguing that the outer-city bypass be completed. Once that is done, we can judge whether the so-called relief road is necessary.

It is a question of first things first—a matter of priorities and using money wisely. This Government talk about doing this properly. We heard the Chancellor earlier today pontificating about this, that and the other. If the Government want to argue like that in Edinburgh, they must do so with people who have to endure many hardships.

Not everyone in the Tory party agrees with this proposal. Certain hon. Members, one in particular, have been vociferous in speaking against the proposal. The hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Fletcher) should know, because he represents the city centre. The Government do offer a choice. They say to the working class, "Take it or leave it." That is what they are saying to the working class in Edinburgh.

We know that some people will go into the city to use this road, assuming that it goes ahead. They will shoot in there in their grand Jaguar cars, coming in from Edinburgh airport. They like that, being picked up by the chauffeur and being driven away. But that situation will change soon because of the regional elections. They will be a disaster area for the Tories in Scotland. The majority of Scots will vote against the Tories and their allies, the alliance.

The Government hope to slip this measure through so that they can stick a parliamentary order on the Labour group, but the people of Scotland recognise these tricks. There are no arguments from the Government about whether the road is necessary. It is not necessary unless it is suggested—

Dr. John Marek (Wrexham)

rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put; but MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER withheld his assent and declined then to put that Question.

Mr. Brown

We know that the civil engineers have been vociferous, because it is good for business and good for them. However, what is good for the Tories is not necessarily good for Scotland, and what is good for Edinburgh may not necessarily be good for Leith. If traffic comes into the centre of Edinburgh it has to go somewhere. It is rather like a leaking pipe. The water has to trickle out somewhere. All this traffic will trickle through into Leith, creating problems for the people there. That will create more and more problems for the population of Leith. Ferry road in Leith is bedevilled by all kinds of traffic problems. Those problems will be increased. In no way will Leith accept the problems created by Edinburgh.

Leith is very important. The people of Leith have suffered because, willy-nilly, when we speak about Edinburgh we forget about the port. That is the most important place in Scotland. I do not suggest, however, that if funds are available they should not be used for investment in public transport or in traffic control measures that will improve the flow of vehicles around and through the city. Obvious problems should be tackled without throwing money at them. The Tories say that money should not be thrown at a problem, but that is precisely what they have done on this occasion for party political reasons.

The Tories will say that the case against this road has been worked up by the extremists—for example, the Cockburn association and the National Trust for Scotland. They have been denounced this evening by Conservative Members. They are bourgeois organisations and not very trendy, but they are aware of the consequences that will flow from the construction of this road.

To whom does one turn for advice? Does one go to the city council? Does one go to the Lord Provost? John McKay is a moderate, reasonable individual who would explain the views of the citizens of Edinburgh. I am sure that he has written to most hon. Members and explained exactly what should be done. I shall take this opportunity to refer to some of the points that he made. They need to be repeated for the record. He said:

1. The proposal to construct a Western Relief Road is premature. It should be shelved until the effects of the Outer City Bypass, which is scheduled for completion in 1990, are known. The new Bypass could well alleviate problems of congestion in the Western sector of the City and remove the need for a Western Relief Road. 2. A Western Relief Road would be contrary to the objectives of the Lothian Region's Structure Plan in relation to the reduction of traffic in central Edinburgh. The new road would probably increase the amount of traffic coming into the City. 3. The scale of environmental relief forecast by Lothian Region has been over-estimated. The little, if any, environmental benefit which will arise will not justify the early construction of the Road and residential locations to adjacent to the Road will suffer badly. 4. Any increased traffic volumes produced by the new Road will have an adverse effect on communities in central Edinburgh, including Lothian Road, Scotland" cross and the historic New Town. 5. Lothian Region have not given full consideration to what are called 'No Road' options. Little, if any, thought has been given to alternatives such as traffic management measures, junction improvements, marginal road alignments and the introduction of long-stay parking restraint measures. 6. The new road would involve the loss of valuable recreation and amenity ground and undoubtedly create environmental problems through noise and pollution. Whilst Lothian Region have carried out certain economic and environmental proposals it has been demonstrated that the benefits have been overstated and certainly do not justify expenditure of some £37 million at current prices. It is felt that expenditure of this magnitude could be directed to more pressing and deserving causes, such as education, social work and health services. 7. Environmental and local pressure groups are firmly opposed to the proposals and such bodies include the Cockburn Association (The Edinburgh Civic Trust) and the National Trust for Scotland. In his own simple way the Lord Provost of Edinburgh has told the Government, "Get on your bike." Anyone riding a bike in Edinburgh would understand the traffic problems there. Certainly there are ways and means of forcing through an unpopular measure, but that will go down badly at the next regional election and the Government must be prepared to accept that they will have little representation on the regional council in Edinburgh.

Some hon. Members seem to think that this issue does not matter, but it does matter, and it will certainly matter in the future. I know that not all Conservative Members agree with this proposal. They should think about the consequences of this road and the proposals, and about the seriousness of it for their own party interests, because the people back home will think about it and will vote accordingly.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The House divided: Ayes 167; Noes 88.

Division No. 108] [10 pm
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Greenway, Harry
Amess, David Gregory, Conal
Arnold, Tom Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Ground, Patrick
Bevan, David Gilroy Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Hargreaves, Kenneth
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Harris, David
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Hawkins, Sir Paul (N'folk SW)
Boscawen, Hon Robert Henderson, Barry
Bottomley, Peter Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Hind, Kenneth
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Holt, Richard
Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)
Bright, Graham Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N)
Brooke, Hon Peter Hunt, David (Wirral W)
Browne, John Jackson, Robert
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Burt, Alistair Jessel, Toby
Carlisle, John (Luton N) Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Jones, Robert (Herts W)
Chope, Christopher Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Churchill, W. S. Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Key, Robert
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) King, Roger (B'ham N'field)
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Knox, David
Colvin, Michael Lang, Ian
Conway, Derek Lawrence, Ivan
Coombs, Simon Lee, John (Pendle)
Cope, John Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Cormack, Patrick Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd)
Corrie, John Lightbown, David
Currie, Mrs Edwina Lilley, Peter
Dickens, Geoffrey Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Dorrell, Stephen Lord, Michael
Dover, Den McCurley, Mrs Anna
Durant, Tony MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)
Emery, Sir Peter Maclean, David John
Evennett, David McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)
Fallon, Michael McQuarrie, Albert
Favell, Anthony Major, John
Fookes, Miss Janet Malone, Gerald
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Mather, Carol
Forth, Eric Maude, Hon Francis
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Fox, Marcus Merchant, Piers
Franks, Cecil Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)
Fraser, Peter (Angus East) Monro, Sir Hector
Freeman, Roger Moore, Rt Hon John
Galley, Roy Murphy, Christopher
Garel-Jones, Tristan Neubert, Michael
Goodhart, Sir Philip Newton, Tony
Goodlad, Alastair Normanton, Tom
Gower, Sir Raymond Onslow, Cranley
Grant, Sir Anthony Osborn, Sir John
Page, Richard (Herts SW) Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Pollock, Alexander Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Portillo, Michael Thompson, Donald (Calder V)
Powley, John Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Proctor, K. Harvey Thornton, Malcolm
Raffan, Keith Thurnham, Peter
Rhodes James, Robert Townend, John (Bridlington)
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Tracey, Richard
Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas Trippier, David
Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Roe, Mrs Marion Waddington, David
Sackville, Hon Thomas Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Sainsbury, Hon Timothy Waller, Gary
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Ward, John
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb') Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Shelton, William (Streatham) Watts, John
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Wheeler, John
Shersby, Michael Whitfield, John
Silvester, Fred Wiggin, Jerry
Sims, Roger Wigley, Dafydd
Skeet, Sir Trevor Wilson, Gordon
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick) Winterton, Mrs Ann
Soames, Hon Nicholas Winterton, Nicholas
Steen, Anthony Woodcock, Michael
Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles) Tellers for the Ayes:
Stradling Thomas, Sir John Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
Sumberg, David and
Taylor, John (Solihull) Mr. Michael Hirst.
Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Alton, David Kennedy, Charles
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Kirkwood, Archy
Barron, Kevin Lamond, James
Beckett, Mrs Margaret Leadbitter, Ted
Beith, A. J. Leighton, Ronald
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Bray, Dr Jeremy McCartney, Hugh
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith) McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Bruce, Malcolm McKelvey, William
Buchan, Norman MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Campbell-Savours, Dale McTaggart, Robert
Canavan, Dennis McWilliam, John
Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y) Madden, Max
Clay, Robert Martin, Michael
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S) Maxton, John
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston) Michie, William
Corbyn, Jeremy Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Craigen, J. M. O'Brien, William
Crowther, Stan O'Neill, Martin
Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly) Parry, Robert
Dewar, Donald Patchett, Terry
Dixon, Donald Pike, Peter
Dormand, Jack Prescott, John
Douglas, Dick Richardson, Ms Jo
Dubs, Alfred Robertson, George
Eadie, Alex Rogers, Allan
Evans, John (St. Helens N) Ross, Ernest (Dundee W)
Fatchett, Derek Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Faulds, Andrew Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Skinner, Dennis
Flannery, Martin Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'ds E)
Foster, Derek Steel, Rt Hon David
Foulkes, George Stott, Roger
Garrett, W. E. Strang, Gavin
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)
Godman, Dr Norman Tinn, James
Hamilton, James (M'well N) Wallace, James
Haynes, Frank Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Wareing, Robert
Home Robertson, John Williams, Rt Hon A.
Howells, Geraint Winnick, David
Hoyle, Douglas
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Tellers for the Noes:
Johnston, Sir Russell Dr. John Marek and
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Mr. Terry Lewis.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Question put accordingly, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—

The House divided: Ayes 181, Noes 81.

Division No. 109] [10.09 pm
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Harris, David
Alton, David Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Amess, David Hawkins, Sir Paul (N'folk SW)
Arnold, Tom Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H. Hind, Kenneth
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Holt, Richard
Beith, A. J. Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)
Bevan, David Gilroy Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N)
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Howells, Geraint
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Hunt, David (Wirral W)
Boscawen, Hon Robert Jackson, Robert
Bottomley, Peter Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Jessel, Toby
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Johnston, Sir Russell
Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Bright, Graham Jones, Robert (Herts W)
Brooke, Hon Peter Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Browne, John Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Bruce, Malcolm Kennedy, Charles
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Key, Robert
Buck, Sir Antony King, Roger (B'ham N'field)
Burt, Alistair Kirkwood, Archy
Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y) Knox, David
Carlisle, John (Luton N) Lang, Ian
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Lawrence, Ivan
Chope, Christopher Lee, John (Pendle)
Churchill, W. S. Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd)
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Lightbown, David
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Lilley, Peter
Colvin, Michael Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Conway, Derek Lord, Michael
Coombs, Simon McCurley, Mrs Anna
Cope, John MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)
Corrie, John Maclean, David John
Currie, Mrs Edwina McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)
Dickens, Geoffrey McQuarrie, Albert
Dorrell, Stephen Major, John
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. Malone, Gerald
Dover, Den Mather, Carol
Durant, Tony Maude, Hon Francis
Emery, Sir Peter Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Evennett, David Merchant, Piers
Fallon, Michael Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)
Favell, Anthony Monro, Sir Hector
Fookes, Miss Janet Moore, Rt Hon John
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Murphy, Christopher
Forth, Eric Neubert, Michael
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Newton, Tony
Fox, Marcus Normanton, Tom
Franks, Cecil Onslow, Cranley
Fraser, Peter (Angus East) Osborn, Sir John
Freeman, Roger Page, Richard (Herts SW)
Galley, Roy Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Garel-Jones, Tristan Pollock, Alexander
Goodhart, Sir Philip Portillo, Michael
Goodlad, Alastair Powley, John
Gower, Sir Raymond Proctor, K. Harvey
Grant, Sir Anthony Raffan, Keith
Greenway, Harry Rhodes James, Robert
Gregory, Conal Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N) Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Ground, Patrick Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Hargreaves, Kenneth Roe, Mrs Marion
Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Thornton, Malcolm
Sackville, Hon Thomas Thurnham, Peter
Sainsbury, Hon Timothy Townend, John (Bridlington)
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Tracey, Richard
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb') Trippier, David
Shelton, William (Streatham) van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Shersby, Michael Waddington, David
Silvester, Fred Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Sims, Roger Wallace, James
Skeet, Sir Trevor Waller, Gary
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick) Ward, John
Soames, Hon Nicholas Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Steel, Rt Hon David Watts, John
Steen, Anthony Wheeler, John
Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton) Whitfield, John
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood) Wiggin, Jerry
Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles) Wigley, Dafydd
Stradling Thomas, Sir John Wilson, Gordon
Sumberg, David Winterton, Mrs Ann
Taylor, John (Solihull) Winterton, Nicholas
Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman Woodcock, Michael
Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M. Young, Sir George (Acton)
Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Thomas, Rt Hon Peter Tellers for the Ayes:
Thompson, Donald (Calder V) Mr. Michael Hirst and
Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N) Mr. Barry Henderson.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.