HC Deb 09 February 1966 vol 724 cc393-4
5 and 6. Mr. Eyre

asked the Minister of Transport (1) if she will give statistics showing the commercial traffic now being carried weekly in liner trains;

(2) whether private hauliers are being admitted to liner train depots.

Mrs. Castle

The Board tells me that in the week ended 28th January, 93 containers loaded with commercial traffic were carried by liner trains. None of this traffic was brought to the terminals by private hauliers.

Mr. Eyre

Is the Minister aware that the British Rail pamphlet on liner trains promises free access to all terminals for all kinds of road transport? Will the right hon. Lady now condemn the restrictive practices which deny this free access and which are causing this expensive national asset to be under-used?

Mrs. Castle

The Government have made it clear that they would like the open terminal system to operate. I am still hopeful that we shall get the National Union of Railwaymen to agree.

59. Mr. McBride

asked the Minister of Transport what proposals she has received from British Railways for major capital expenditure on the provision of liner train ports; and where these ports are situated.

Mr. John Morris

Proposals already authorised include the provision of liner train terminals at London, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. These terminals will serve mainly domestic traffic but will be available also for imports and exports. At all major general cargo ports the volume and nature of container traffic is expected to be such that special rail facilities and services will be required later.

Mr. McBride

Is my hon. Friend aware that it was with regret that I did not hear a Welsh port designated? Would he not consider that the designation of a Welsh port, such as Swansea, the natural population and growth centre of West Wales, would be in the interests of easing dock congestion?

Mr. Morris

As my hon. Friend knows, I am well aware of the importance of Swansea. All I would say is that my Answer relates in the first part to the first five routes which will be operated. Certainly we will look at the whole matter in due course.

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