HC Deb 07 June 1978 vol 951 c172
2. Mr. Ron Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is his policy towards the substitution of rail by bus services.

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. William Rodgers)

I have no firm or exclusive view.

Mr. Lewis

Does my right hon. Friend accept that past attempts at bus substitution have failed lamentably, and will be guarantee that his Department will not undertake this type of policy in the future?

Mr. Rodgers

I agree with my hon. Friend that for the most part attempts in the past have been unsuccessful and the dividends that were expected to be gained have not been there. But I do not rule out the possibility that bus substitution might make sense. Our objective must be to meet the needs of the public in the most cost-effective way, and that could be by bus rather than by rail. However, that is a matter about which I have an open mind.