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Roads (Farming Areas)

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1961

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12.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many miles of unclassified and unadopted roads in upland farming areas will be eligible for grant assistance under the Agriculture (Improvement of Roads) Act, 1955, in the present financial year; what mile age will be improved next year; and what sum of money will be made available.

In 1961–62, my right hon. Friend expects to authorise schemes covering about 50 miles of road thereby virtually completing the distribution of the £1 million allocated to Scotland under the Act. The total mileage will be about 370; of this 104 miles have been completed and it is expected that about half the rest will be completed by the end of 1962. My right hon. Friend's proposals for expenditure in 1962–63 will be declared when the Scottish roads Estimate is published next year.

Are not these figures of mileages and sums expended very small compared with the need? Does my hon. Friend agree that, if we want to keep people living in these upland areas, we must be prepared to spend on the small hill roads as well as the trunk roads? Can he say what progress has been made in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, and when he expects to authorise any further schemes?

I know that the county council has one or two schemes in mind which it would still like to do, but I think that the stewartry has had 16 schemes approved, which is a substantial proportion of its requirements.

Will my hon. Friend make sure that there are no financial cuts in this very important expenditure?