HC Deb 02 April 1963 vol 675 cc229-30
24. Mrs. Butler

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs how many towns from which branch lines are to be withdrawn under the railway reorganisation scheme have been considered by his Department as sites for new or expanded towns to take overspill and industry from congested conurbations.

Sir K. Joseph

I do not think it would be profitable to attempt to relate to the present proposals the very large number of towns which have been considered in this way. As my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport said in his statement to the House on 27th March, however, the Government will, in considering the proposals, pay special regard to the long-term requirements of particular areas, including those arising from planned movements of population and industry.

Mrs. Butler

Since many of the towns on the list are eminently suitable for expansion, which would lead to a need and demand for rail, goods and passenger services, can the right hon. Gentleman say what continuing consultation there is between the various Departments on this question?

Sir K. Joseph

As the hon. Lady knows, my Department is preparing regional surveys on which the regional plans will be based. As a result of that, I am able to consult with my right hon. Friend about the implications for any towns involved in ample time before decisions are made.