HC Deb 23 November 1966 vol 736 cc1373-4
11. Mr. Webster

asked the Minister of Transport when she expects to receive the transport recommendations from the regional economic planning councils.

95. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Minister of Transport on what date she expects to receive the transport recommendations from economic planning councils in the regions.

Mrs. Castle

I have already received advice from the economic planning councils on some aspects of transport and I shall continue to keep closely in touch with them on the planning of transport in the regions.

Mr. Webster

In view of the refusal to accept Portbury after consultation with the Regional Development Council, does that mean that the reference to consultation in the White Paper is complete eyewash if it does not fit in with the Minister's preconceived notions?

Mrs. Castle

Of course it is not eyewash. Equally, I cannot delegate complete responsibility to the regional planning councils. They are supposed to be advisory planning bodies. Their advice on a number of things has been considered by me, including railway closures, road plans for the 1970s and so on. However, in the end, I must bear the responsibility of making a decision, and I shall not shirk it.

Mr. Dalyell

Will my right hon. Friend give special sympathetic consideration to the recommendation which she has received from Scottish sources for a direct air link between Edinburgh and Glasgow and the continent of Europe?

Mrs. Castle

Air links are not a matter for me, but I am in close touch with the Scottish Economic Planning Council on all the questions which are within my responsibility.