HC Deb 08 July 1970 vol 803 cc653-4
15. Mr. James Bennett

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what stage has been reached in discussions regarding the setting up of a passenger transport authority within the greater Glasgow area; and if he will make a statement.

35. Dr. Dickson Mabon

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he intends to proceed further with discussions with local authorities in West Central Scotland on the establishment of a passenger transport authority.

Mr. Younger

My right hon. Friend is looking at the position in the light of the consultations undertaken by the previous Government, but he is not yet ready to make any statement.

Mr. Bennett

In view of that reply, is it the Government's intention, despite the declared antagonism of one of the hon. Gentleman's hon. Friends in the Scottish Office, to set up a passenger transport authority within the greater Glasgow area?

Mr. Younger

This is a matter which must be considered in consultation with those concerned. I understand that some support has been expressed for, but also some opposition to, the idea of a P.T.A., and I wish to take account of all the views expressed.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

Surely it is the case that the Conservative Party in Committee upstairs and elsewhere—including one of the Minister's hon. Friends speaking officially as spokesman—opposed completely the concept of P.T.As in Scotland? Will he give us an assurance that if there is to be no P.T.A. in West Central Scotland he will oppose completely the shutting down of passenger train services as a consequence?

Mr. Younger

I am well aware of the importance of rail services, particularly in the Glasgow area. I will take that aspect of the matter very fully into consideration in my consultations.