ShareThis

.

.

7 February 2002

S1M-2703 Scotland's Road Network

Scottish Parliament

Thursday 7 February 2002

[THE DEPUTY PRESIDING OFFICER opened the meeting at 09:30]

Scotland's Road Network

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Mr George Reid): The first item of business is a Scottish National Party debate on motion S1M-2703, in the name of Kenny MacAskill, on Scotland's road network, and two amendments to the motion.

09:30

... ... ...

10:32

Stewart Stevenson (Banff and Buchan) (SNP): I have a wee message for Maureen Macmillan. I know a lot about the Highlands. My father comes from the Black Isle and my wife is from a rural part of the Highlands, where she was halfway through secondary school before her family got electricity.

Andrew Wilson: And then the war came. [Laughter.]

Stewart Stevenson: I should point out to Andrew Wilson that that is the single most dangerous act that he has committed in the Parliament. He will now have to answer to my wife—something that I fear and he should dread.

Maureen Macmillan should not lecture SNP members about ignorance of the Highlands.

I congratulate General Motors on its achievements. Not only do ministers' Vauxhalls transport them from A to B, they successfully insulate the occupants from the everyday reality of other people's roads experience. Next time I am looking for a car, I must buy a Vauxhall.

Let me relate to the experience of the people. What honest and acceptable answer could I give to mourners at a funeral I attended on 26 December, when they witnessed a continual stream of people arriving throughout the service? BEAR's snow-clearing operation in Aberdeenshire meant that some mourners were unable to attend.

Lewis Macdonald indicated disagreement.

Stewart Stevenson: It happens to be true. If Lewis Macdonald had been there, he would have seen it to be so.

I represent what is almost the only mainland constituency that has no railways. We also have no dual carriageway connection to the core of Scotland's road network. In the north east, the issue of roads, their maintenance and their winter care is vital. Tom McCabe spoke graphically of the Executive's investment in roads, but his speech was all about the central belt.

To be fair, the minister visited Maud in my constituency recently and saw what the dial-a-bus scheme is succeeding in doing there. However, the minister would also have seen the state of the roads. Because of the state of the roads, I am regularly visited by businesses at my constituency surgeries. Most recently, I was visited by a haulier who suggested quite convincingly that it costs his company £50,000 a year to be based in Peterhead rather than in Aberdeen, where he could relocate.

Mr Davidson: Will the member give way?

The Deputy Presiding Officer: The member has one minute.

Stewart Stevenson: David Davidson is too late.

The haulier's problems arise from the state of the roads throughout the year and from the state into which they have been put by BEAR's inefficiencies and ineffectiveness. If even my backside can tell, as I drive up to my constituency, that there are potholes in the road, BEAR, too, should be able to do so.

The minister said that he was in his "last few moments". If his prescience is to prove misplaced, it will only be because he insists on effective delivery—David Mundell referred to that. The minister should ditch the dogma and promote the public sector. Let us get effective maintenance of our roads in winter.

10:36

Stewart Stevenson
does not gather, use or
retain any cookie data.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP