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A7 (Drumlanrig Bridge)

Volume 886: debated on Wednesday 12 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now make a statement outlining his plans for the proposed development of Drumlanrig Bridge on the A7.

As the hon. Gentleman will know from his correspondence with my noble Friend, Drumlanrig Bridge, which is subject to weight restriction, is to be replaced by a stronger structure. Work will start as soon as the necessary statutory procedures are complete.

Will the Minister confirm that the compulsory purchase order subsequently devised was technically defective and that the whole procedure may have to start again? If that is the case will the Scottish Office take the opportunity of exploring other routes for the A7 through Hawick, since there is universal feeling in the town that the last place for traffic is the High Street?

The second point raises a rather longer-term consideration. I think there is a large measure of agreement that the development of the existing bridge is urgently required. The technical objection to the procedure is now the subject of legal action, and I am afraid I cannot comment on that.