HC Deb 08 April 1964 vol 692 cc997-8
23. Mr. Brewis

asked the Minister of Transport if he has received the report of the Transport Users' Consultative Council on the Stranraer to Dumfries and the Stranraer to Ayr railways; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Marples

I received the reports shortly before Easter. I am now studying them and all other relevant factors in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and my other colleagues. I shall also take into account the views of the Northern Ireland Government on the effect on through travel to Larne. I cannot yet say when I shall be in a position to make a statement.

Mr. Brewis

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask whether he is aware of the consternation caused in south-west Scotland and Northern Ireland by these proposals in the Beeching Report, and will he give very careful consideration to representations that he receives on grounds other than hardship from national organisations such as the Scottish Council and similar organisations in Northern Ireland? Also, will he give us a quick reply, because this is interfering with business?

Mr. Marples

Yes, Sir; I can give my hon. Friend that assurance. I can also give him the assurance that I shall not reach a decision until all the evidence has been considered, and considered carefully. I would rather reach the right decision than a rapid decision which was the wrong one, and I will reach the right decision as quickly as I possibly can.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Will the right hon. Gentleman also keep in mind the seaport town of Girvan, which is greatly interested in his decision in view of the importance to Girvan of having regular communications so that it may receive summer visitors?

Mr. Marples

Yes, Sir.