HC Deb 01 February 1978 vol 943 cc430-1
2. Mr. Bulmer

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from county councils on traffic licensing laws; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Horam

The county councils have argued that road service licensing of buses and coaches by the traffic commissioners should be transferred to them. The Transport Bill will require the traffic commissioners to have regard to counties' plans and policies, and we believe that this is the right modification.

Mr. Bulmer

Will the Minister think again about the problems of all rural areas? Does he appreciate that in the context of the services in Hereford and Worcester, three-year projections, let alone three-year agreements, are very difficult, because the input figures are so uncertain? Does he accept the need to encourage local experiments, with traditional services failing fast, and will he consider the time it takes to obtain a licence?

Mr. Horam

No Government have done more than we have for transport in rural areas. As for local experiments, the hon. Member will be aware of our own Passenger Transport (Experimental Areas) Act, which does precisely what he is asking.

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