40. Dr. Bennett
asked the Minister of Transport for what reason he is now enforcing a solus system of monopoly sales of petrol for the new service station on the Lancaster-Carlisle motorway, M6, in view of his Department's previous policy of opposing such arrangements.
Mr. Bob Brown
Solus operation will be permitted but not enforced. The relatively low traffic volumes will not support the normal multi-brand site.
Tenders for solus operation of three more service areas between Burton and Penrith will be invited, but a choice of brands of fuel will be maintained along each carriageway.
Is this not a gross forsaking of the recommendations of the Monopolies Commission and would it not be better to have a little patience to see what the traffic flow is and allow the recommendations of the Commission to be carried out?
No, I do not accept that this is an interference with the Monopolies Commission at all. We have the 973 duty to provide a service area facilities, and we certainly cannot wait till traffic builds up.
§ Sir J. Langford-Holt
When the hon. Gentleman says alternative branded fuels will be available, do they include lubricants?
41. Dr. Bennett
asked the Minister of Transport why in the service station projected at Burton, Westmorland, on the new Lancaster-Carlisle motorway, M6, he is specifying the provision of only two alternative brands of lubricant out of the wide range of alternatives.
Mr. Bob Brown
The condition is that tenderers should offer a variety of lubricating oils from not less than two competing and unassociated wholesale distributors.
As less than two equals one, and there are plenty of lubricants to select from, is not to choose from less than two begging the whole question of having a variety of fuels?
There is not any essential difference in our requirements. Tenderers may offer as much variety as they wish.