§ 1. Mr. Tom Clarke (Coatbridge and Chryston)
When is the forecast completion of the upgrading of the A8 from Baillieston to Newhouse and the M73 serving Gartcosh. 
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Dr. John Reid)
The proposal to upgrade the A8 between Baillieston and Newhouse is one of the schemes being considered in the strategic review of trunk roads. Responsibility for completing the review transfers, along with other trunk road matters, to the Scottish Parliament on 1 July. The scheme at Gartcosh on the M73 will be completed in September.
§ Mr. Clarke
My constituents and I are extremely pleased at my right hon. Friend's confirmation of those necessary roadworks. Those of us who have seen the horrors of congestion and the burdens of bottlenecks and who recognise the need for sustainable infrastructure to encourage industrial investment welcome what my right hon. Friend has said. May I take this opportunity to ask my right hon. Friend to confirm that no decision has been taken about charges and that that will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament, which will no doubt take on board in its consultations the views of road users, local authorities and those who want decongestion on roads within the excellence of a new environment?
§ Dr. Reid
On the upgrade between Baillieston and Newhouse, my right hon. Friend will know that two alternatives are under review. One is an on-line upgrade and one an off-line alternative. Both would involve the upgrading of that section of the A8 to motorway status. On the road charging proposals, I can confirm what my right hon. Friend said. No decision has been reached 120 by the Scottish Parliament on that matter. Of course, there will be widespread consultation before it decides on the way forward.
§ Mr. Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield)
In view of the right hon. Gentleman's comments about road tolling, does he agree that it would have been far better, if he was seeking to make friends and influence people, if the question of road tolling charges had been left until after the transfer of powers? The consequence of the announcement of the policy has been to cause great resentment in Scotland and to give the impression that the Scottish Executive is acting as a little Sir Echo of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.
§ Dr. Reid
I welcome the hon. Gentleman to his new responsibilities. In the spirit of generosity that normally marks these occasions, I also welcome his boss, the right hon. Member for North-West Hampshire (Sir G. Young), who, if my memory serves me correctly, was the father and mother of road charging—the man who invented road charging and introduced it in a Green Paper. I am sorry that he happens to be sitting on the Front Bench to be embarrassed by his colleague's attack on such charging.
I note what the hon. Gentleman says about congestion charging, but I am surprised that he has not been watching the debates in the House in the past year. It is not true that the Scottish Parliament may be the first to consider road charging. In fact, road charging powers are already being considered in the House as part of the Greater London Authority Bill. Therefore, I am afraid that by taking any opportunity to attack devolution from his side of the fence, he is perpetrating the same myth as those on the Scottish National party Benches who take every opportunity to attack devolution. Both parties are wrong. Road charging is being considered as part of the GLA Bill, and no decision has yet been taken in Scotland.