HC Deb 11 July 1977 vol 935 cc15-6
13. Mr. Anderson

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether, in the light of Chapter 11 of the June White Paper, he will publish at three yearly intervals a White Paper on transport policy in Wales.

Mr. Barry Jones

There will be an annual White Paper for Wales on roads. The three-yearly White Papers proposed in paragraph 287 of the White Paper, Cmnd. 6836, will deal with transport policy for the whole of Great Britain. Any separate issues arising in Wales will be clearly identified and fully discussed.

Mr. Anderson

Will there not be a separate three-yearly White Paper on transport policy for Scotland? Would it not be useful to have a Welsh White Paper so that we may have a regular overview of transport policy in Wales apart from the sections which may be intermingled with other parts of the United Kingdom?

Mr. Barry Jones

There will be a separate annual White Paper on roads, for which my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales has responsibility. As for the main thrust of my hon. Friend's observations, I must inform him that the three-yearly White Paper will be very wide-ranging and will deal with matters in Wales as in England. Some of the subjects will relate to British Rail and drivers' hours, for example. I would have thought that there was a strong case for not having a separate three-yearly White Paper for Wales.

Sir A. Meyer

How does the Welsh Office view attempts by British Rail to attract freight back to rail from road transport?

Mr. Barry Jones

I should perhaps have had previous notice of that question, but in general terms we have approved two projects of this kind.

Mr. Wigley

Is not the Minister aware that there is concern in Wales over the transfer of responsibility for the financing of railways to local authorities, which are already hard pressed in their provision for roads? Is there not a case for a three-yearly Government review of the rail situation in Wales?

Mr. Barry Jones

The Welsh Office is always reviewing the rail situation in Wales. I would inform the hon. Gentleman that the White Paper has many green pages.