HC Deb 05 July 1982 vol 27 cc1-2
1. Sir Anthony Meyer

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will undertake a review of communications in Wales in the light of British Rail's investment plans for the Principality.

The Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Michael Roberts)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport has ministerial responsibility for railways, but I keep the communication needs of Wales continually under review and am in regular consultation with my right hon. Friend.

Sir Anthony Meyer

In the light of that reply, will my hon. Friend make it plain that while many thousands of jobs in Wales are not on the railways, they depend on the maintenance of a rail network in Wales? Will he also make it plain that the rail network is seriously threatened by ASLEF's actions? Will he appeal, and ask the Opposition to appeal, to as many drivers as possible to turn up for work to save the railways and jobs in Wales?

Mr. Roberts

My hon. Friend is right. The strike could have a devastating effect on Welsh railways. The dreaded teredo worm in the Barmouth viaduct could be of scant importance when compared with the threat of this strike. I appeal to all hon. Members to use their influence as best they can so that this pointless strike is ended quickly.

Mr. Anderson

Does the Minister agree that some of us are a little puzzled by the reference to British Rail's investment plans in Wales, as the electrification of main lines has been put into cold storage because of the Government's rethink and as several valley and rural lines have been threatened by the Government's lack of investment in the railways?

Mr. Roberts

My right hon. Friend is awaiting British Rail's proposals for the electrification of those lines that are potentially profitable. Everything depends on our Welsh railways being run at a high level of productivity and efficiency.

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