HC Deb 06 November 1968 vol 772 c862
4. Earl of Dalkeith

asked the President of the Board of Trade what grants and allowances for plant, machinery and equipment he will make available to the private enterprise operator of a railway line used for the transport of passengers and freight following its abandonment by British Railways within a development district.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody

No financial assistance would be available from the Board of Trade under either the Industrial Development Act or the Local Employment Acts.

Earl of Dalkeith

I understand the difficulty of giving a better Answer to my Question, but will the hon. Lady say whether her Department has made an assessment of the value of the Waverley line to the future development of trade and industry in the Borders of Scotland, and, if so, what advice it has given to the Minister of Transport?

Mrs. Dunwoody

The Board of Trade has an active interest in the development of industry in the Borders. Obviously, we take into account the effect which factors such as railway closures would have. There has been a decline in the usage of the line, although I do not underestimate the difficulties, sometimes psychological, which people feel they will face if railway lines close. However, we believe that what will give real help to industrialists in this area will be alternative forms of transport and, in many instances, improvement of roads.

Mr. Speaker

Order. Questions and Answers are becoming longer.