HC Deb 01 December 1965 vol 721 cc1426-7
17. Mr. Hendry

asked the Minister of Transport how many railway stations and what length of line were closed to passenger traffic in the past 12 months.

Mr. Tom Fraser

In the period 1st December, 1964, to 30th November, 1965, passenger services were withdrawn from 890 miles of track and 412 stations.

Mr. Hendry

On reflection, is not the Minister ashamed of the appalling devastation revealed by those figures which in the north of Scotland have come to be known as "Fraser's axe" and which are in direct contrast to the policy of his predecessor, who took some account of social considerations? Before closing any more lines, will the right hon. Gentleman accept my invitation to come to the north of Scotland and to see the dreadful road conditions there at this time of the year?

Mr. Fraser

The hon. Gentleman will be interested to know that for the closure of most of the miles of track and stations from which services have been withdrawn in the past 12 months his right hon. Friend my predecessor was responsible. If this has been a shameful business, it has been a shameful business perpetrated by the hon. Gentleman's right hon. Friend.

Mr. Snow

I accept my right hon. Friend's response when he says that right hon. Gentlemen opposite are ultimately responsible for a vicious piece of Conservative legislation. However, how can he possibly explain the signs now appearing on cars and saying, "Come back Marples; all is forgiven"?

Mr. Fraser

I am not responsible for justifying the signs or stickers put on motor cars.