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Column 307at an advanced stage of preparation on the periphery of Glasgow. On the A77 several schemes are planned to complete the dual carriageway between Glasgow and Ayr.
Important though the motorway network is to the economy of Scotland, the Government will continue to place equal priority on improving the whole 2,000 miles of trunk road network throughout Scotland. In recent years this has meant, for example, the improvement of the A9 Perth-Inverness route, the Perth-Dundee-Aberdeen route, and the A75 Euro route to Stranraer.
The top priority now for trunk roads is to make significant enhancements on the A96 Aberdeen-Inverness route to reduce accidents and journey times and to improve driving conditions on the route generally. The Government announced a six-point plan in December which set out a programme of work, current and planned, which will cost at least £70 million.
One hundred miles of route cannot be re-engineered overnight. This programme therefore concentrates on addressing the priority problems first. It does so quickly and effectively. Where traffic flows are high, major schemes have been, are being or will be built. Where there are accidents occurring, remedial schemes are being implemented as a matter of urgency. Already, 30 sites for accident remedial treatment have been identified since the plan was announced and road markings are to be thoroughly overhauled. Where lack of overtaking opportunities are causing long queues of traffic, frustration and delays, we have instructed the regional council to plan to include regular safe overtaking stretches.
The precise extent of further new schemes to improve the A96 and the speed with which they can now be implemented will depend in part on the actual amounts of new money which will become available from year to year following today's statement. I am pleased today however to be able to announce that major and early progress can be achieved. A key part of the six-point plan was to accelerate preparation of the major schemes so that they could be built if money were to become available from slippage elsewhere in the programme. I can now say that funds will be available for these major A96 schemes as soon as they are prepared. Further, in the light of both the
Column 308new resources likely to be available and of the new traffic forecasts announced today, I will now be considering further significant improvements to the A96 which might be appropriate. The trunk road programme now contains major schemes to improve almost all roads in the trunk road network. Further schemes will be added as studies identifying requirements are completed. In particular, my Department is about to recdeive final assessments from the "Routes South of Edinburgh" study. Before I make a final decision on the way forward in the light of the study, it is my intention to issue a consultation paper detailing the options which have emerged and inviting comment from a wide range of interests. I hope to be able to issue the consultation paper during the summer.
I have also decided to instigate a further study to ensure that both trunk and other key principal roads, the vital links between major centres of Scotland, are in the best possible shape to meet the demands of the latter part of this century and into the next. No network wide general review of traffic flows, pressure points and potential to enhance development has been carried out for some time. If roads investment is to be substantially increased--and it is--it is critical to be sure that the money will be spent in the right places. It is particularly necessary, therefore, to review the situation now. The regional councils will have a role to play in this and my Department will be consulting them to discuss the way forward.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place in the Library details of each major publicity campaign mounted by his Department in 1985-86 and each successive year, including in each case the objectives of the campaign, the intended audience and the outcome of the monitoring of the achievement of the intended objectives, and national research conducted for him by the Central Office of Information together with a note of the intended objectives in the campaigns in 1989-90.