HC Deb 27 June 1962 vol 661 cc1151-2
19. Mr. G. Wilson

asked the Minister of Transport what new arrangements he has made for studying transport needs in the future and the best way of meeting them.

Mr. Marples

My Department has set on foot during recent months a systematic survey of the likely demand for inland transport facilities in twenty years' time. These studies are being supervised by Sir Robert Hall, and are being done in conjunction with other Government Departments and industrial and other interested organisations. I hope that there will emerge from these studies guiding lines for the consideration of the long-term transport policy of this country.

Mr. Wilson

Will my right hon. Friend take account of the results of these wider studies before he accepts proposals for radical changes in the pattern of railway transport?

Mr. Marples

Whatever the conclusions may be, when they are reached, they will certainly help me. But I doubt whether we can wait for reorganisation of the railways until the proposals come forward.

Mr. Strauss

Is it not likely to happen that if the right hon. Gentleman proceeds with the proposals which he has in mind to close urgently very large areas of the present railway system he may be taking action quite contrary to what the needs of the country may be in 20 years' time?

Mr. Marples

The right hon. Gentle. man has based his supplementary question on a false assumption. He has not the slightest idea of what I have in mind as far as the railway system goes.