§ 38. Mr. William Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in view of the need for further industrial development in Fife and the east of Scotland generally, he will take steps to prevent any increase in toll charges on the Forth Road Bridge.
§ Dr. Dickson Mabon
In the review of the finances of the Bridge which my right hon. Friend is making in consultation with the Joint Board he is taking fully into account the needs of economic development, as well as all the other relevant factors.
§ Mr. Hamilton
Does my hon Friend recognise that, although we appreciate 1368 the difficulties of the bridge finances, it is nevertheless imperative that the economic development of Fife and the whole of East Scotland should go ahead on the basis set by this Government and that nothing should be done to impede that progress, as I fear an increase in tolls would do?
§ Sir J. Gilmour
Is it not a fact that the private motorist is bearing a very unfair burden of tolls on the Forth Road Bridge, compared with commercial vehicles?
§ Mr. Noble
I do not accept that this was imposed by us. The suggestion came from the Road Bridge Board, which was a very different thing. But does the hon. Gentleman not agree that the advent of this bridge has made an enormous difference to the development of Fife, and that we are all extremely grateful for it?