asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the handicap of farmers in North Argyll owing to the preservation of peacetime restrictions on the use of the road section of Connel Ferry Bridge; and whether, in view of the Government's policy that the agricultural industry is as important to the country as the Armed Forces, he will take steps to have these restrictions removed for the duration of the war?
I am aware that certain peace-time restrictions on the use of Connel Ferry Bridge still remain, although a number have been removed since the beginning of the war. My right hon. Friend is, however, in consultation with the Minister of War Transport as to the possibility of further improvements of facilities, in so far as this may be consistent with the safety of the bridge.
Will the hon. Gentleman remind his right hon. Friend that the traffic which used that bridge has now to make a detour of 100 miles, in these days of petrol shortage? Will he bear that in mind when discussing that with the Minister of War Transport and see that there are no restrictions beyond safety restrictions?
I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that we are aware of the difficulties connected with transport as far as the Connel Ferry Bridge area is concerned, and we are keeping all these facts in mind in the consultations that we are having with the Minister of Transport, who is directly responsible.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Ministry of War Transport says there is no need for removing these restrictions and that it is a scandalous waste of time and petrol? There is nothing needed except to put up a notice limiting it to vehicles under a certain weight.
I am not aware of the difficulties mentioned. Already some of the restrictions have been removed which operated in peace-time, and we are in consultation with the Minister of War Transport with a view to getting still further restrictions removed.