HC Deb 05 December 1973 vol 865 cc1257-8
24. Mr. Marks

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, when he announces his decision, he will also publish his Department's analysis of cost-benefit of the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Scheme.

Mr. Peyton

The cost-benefit analysis was carried out by the SELNEC Passenger Transport Executive.

Mr. Marks

Ministers have criticised the viability of the scheme on cost-benefit grounds. When the right hon. Gentleman announces his decision, should he not make a detailed statement of why he disagrees with the scheme? Will he take the scheme as a whole and not only parts of it in giving his decision? Will he also announce his decision before the rising of the House for Christmas and not on New Year's Eve?

Mr. Peyton

I have not said that I either agree or disagree. I will bear in mind what the hon. Gentleman has said, and naturally I would announce the reasons for my decision, whatever it was.

Mr. Bray

Will my right hon. Friend tell us whether he has received statistics from SELNEC authorities showing the income they expect from the scheme and the cost of operating it on the basis of amortisation of the capital involved?

Mr. Peyton

Yes, that is true. I think that on the whole it is admitted that the financial return is on the low side. But that is not the whole story. What is important is that in assessing the project generally there should be a really substantial benefit to those who will have to pay.