HC Deb 23 December 1964 vol 704 cc1223-4
21. Mr. Woodnutt

asked the Minister of Transport what study he has made of the report of the Transport Users' Consultative Committee and the memorandum submitted by the Isle of Wight County Council on the Isle of Wight railways; and if he has now made a decision on their future.

Mr. Swingler

We cannot complete our study of the Railways Board's closure proposals until we have received certain essential information from the Board. Whatever my right hon. Friend's final decision may be, however, I can assure the hon. Member that the services will still be in operation throughout next summer.

Mr. Woodnutt

That last remark is at least a comfort for next year, but does not the hon. Gentleman think it disgraceful that a decision has not yet been made, particularly bearing in mind that the Labour candidate in the Isle of Wight at the General Election gave an assurance that if we had a Labour Government the Isle of Wight railways would not be closed? Is not this another example of a breach of promise by hon. Gentlemen opposite?

Mr. Swingler

The hon. Gentleman is getting a little ahead of himself and of us. I am not prejudging anything about our consideration of the report. That fact is that it had already gone through the statutory procedure and so we had an obligation to consider it and discuss it with the Railways Board, and the hon. Gentleman will know that that is a complicated matter. I hope he will be reassured by the fact that we have relieved anxiety in the Isle of Wight by stating that we have taken a decision to keep the services in operation throughout next summer.

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