HC Deb 08 May 1968 vol 764 cc390-1
4. Mr. Goodhart

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is satisfied that the recent increase of more than 50 per cent. in the Motorail return fare between London and Newcastle is compatible with the Government's prices and incomes policy; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Marsh

I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer given to the hon. Member for Cathcart (Mr. Edward M. Taylor) on 2nd February, 1968.—[Vol. 757, c. 425.]

Mr. Goodhart

If an increase in fares from £19 to £29 is consistent with Government policy during a period of price restraint, is the right hon. Gentleman surprised that the travelling public is in despair?

Mr. Marsh

I do not see why the travelling public should be in despair. This is the first increase since 1960. If the rest of British industry had done as well, the travelling public would have been very happy.

Mr. R. W. Elliott

The travelling public will deplore this fantastic increase. If this service was showing a loss commensurate with this enormous increase in fares, why was it not determined before?

Mr. Marsh

Firstly, this is the first increase on this line since 1960, which is a very good record. Secondly, the Opposition cannot have it both ways. They want the nationalised industries to conform to market pressures and the evidence here is that the market will bear more.

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