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M85 (Friarton Bridge)

Volume 958: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will reconsider his decision not to install lights on the M85 motorway over Friarton bridge.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that his continued refusal to install lights on this motorway bridge in Perth contrasts markedly with English motorways which have long stretches of carriageway that are lighted—for example, the M1, M3, M4 and M6? Is not this gross discrimination against Scotland? Have we to wait until there is a serious accident on that motorway bridge before the Scottish Office will reconsider its position?

The Friarton bridge is unusual in two ways. First, it is part of a motorway and, therefore, it carries no cyclists and has no pedestrian traffic. It is very different from an all purpose bridge such as the Ballachulish bridge or the Forth road bridge. Secondly, and more importantly, it has no superstructures that could be a hazard in darkness. If the hon. Gentleman talks to officials at the Department of Transport he will find that in England there are stretches of motorways crossing rivers that are not lighted. Therefore the decision is not inconsistent with what is happening in the rest of the United Kingdom.