§ 7. Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Minister of Transport what reply he has sent, and what action he intends to take, on the request of the 60 local authorities concerned, at a meeting held in Manchester, that the Beeching proposals be held up pending a full inquiry by him into the transport needs of the North-Western area; if he will invite all representative organisations to give evidence and make proposals; and if he will treat this inquiry as a matter of urgency.
§ Mr. Galbraith
My right hon. Friend has acknowledged and taken note of the resolution to which the hon. Member refers. We should be very ready to co-operate with local authorities in arranging a comprehensive transport survey in the Manchester conurbation and we shall be glad to send an official to consider with them how this might best be done. Any railway passenger closure proposals put forward by the British Railways Board to which objection has been lodged must, under Section 56(9) of the Transport Act, 1962, be considered, and reported on, as soon as possible, by the appropriate transport users consultative committee.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
Has the Minister studied the excellent report published in the United States of America and based on the hearings of a Congress sub-committee which considered the United States problems? Does he not agree that within seven years we could be faced with a similar situation, unless an initiative similar to that in the United States is taken in this country? Will the Parliamentary Secretary undertake that his right hon. Friend will consider these points?
§ Mr. Galbraith
I can give that undertaking. I will convey the hon. Gentleman's views to my right hon. Friend.