§ 5. Mr. Evelyn King
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment why he rejected the conclusion of his own inspector relative to the bus service and the proposed closure of the Wareham-Swanage branch line.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
The reasons for the decision were fully explained in an official letter of 29th September, 1971, 434 a copy of which was sent to my hon. Friend.
§ Mr. King
Is not the point that the Swanage-Wareham road communications are so poor that no number of buses could possibly replace the rail link? Is it not also a fact that this view is supported by the police, by the Automobile Association, by the Royal Automobile Club, by the Ministry's own inspector and by all those who were subjected to cross-examination? Is it not impossible, two years later, to ask local people to believe that a faceless official in my hon. Friend's Department knows more than any of those people?
§ Mr. Griffiths
My hon. Friend will know that additional bus services will be provided on 3rd January next and he will also know that work on the Wareham bypass will start in 1973. One of the advantages of the integrated Department which we now have is that administratively bus, rail and road matters are all dealt with under the same roof. If my hon. Friend wants to come and discuss these matters with officials of those three elements of the Department, he is very welcome to do so.