§ 16. Mr. Hepburn
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions she has had with the Scottish Executive on cross-border road links, with special reference to the Al. 
§ Mrs. McGuire
I have regular discussions with Scottish Ministers on a variety of transport issues including cross-border road links. The Scottish Executive 833W plan to upgrade the A1 to dual carriageway standard between Howburn and Houndwood in the Scottish Borders at a cost of nearly £5 million. Construction is due to start on 15 July and should be completed in 2003.