HC Deb 01 December 1965 vol 721 c1411
11. Mr. Garrow

asked the Minister of Transport if he is satisfied with the present financial position of municipal transport undertakings; and what proposals he has to ease the situation.

Mr. Tom Fraser

I am aware of the present difficulties of bus undertakings, including municipal transport. We are already giving help by taxation relief. My general policy is to achieve a better balance between public and private transport in the towns.

Mr. Garrow

Will my right hon. Friend agree that most of the municipal transport undertakings in the country are experiencing severe financial difficulties and that these are increasing year by year? Will he agree that this can only result in either an increase in fares or an inferior service? Does he not agree that the position of transport undertakings must be looked at very closely because they are essential to the well-being of the nation?

Mr. Fraser

Yes, Sir; the municipal passenger transport undertakings are meeting increasing difficulties, as are other companies which provide these services. These are matters which are at the present time receiving very close attention from the Government.

Mr. Ridsdale

Will the right hon. Gentleman say what concessionary fares are costing the Government in taxation relief?

Mr. Fraser

I do not think that concessionary fares cost the Government anything at all in taxation relief.