HC Deb 06 June 1956 vol 553 cc1059-60
17. Mr. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what further proposals he has for the improvement of rural transport.

Mr. Molson

This matter was debated on 24th April since when, in relation to the point which I understand my hon. Friend has particularly in mind, I have been informed that the British Transport Commission is preparing to experiment with a further type of diesel rail car. It is hoped that trials will begin in August.

Mr. Baldwin

May I thank my right hon. Friend for taking practical steps to deal with a problem which affects a great many parts of the country; and may I ask whether, when the Ministry makes a decision on this experiment, careful watch will be kept on overheads, because it is the opinion of some of us that figures for overheads are not very reliable when applied to the running of any branch line?

Mr. Molson

It is clear that overheads have to be taken into account in considering the maintenance of any line, but we will certainly take into account what my hon. Friend has said.

Mr. Paget

Surely it is quite unnecessary to take into account the whole of one's overheads when one is considering a marginal activity?

Mr. Molson

The British Transport Commission is considering the question of keeping open one particular line. In regard to marginal activities, it takes into account only marginal overheads.