HC Deb 25 May 1988 vol 134 cc324-6
17. Mrs. Ray Michie

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representatives he has received on the privatisation of the Scottish Bus Group.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

My right hon. and learned Friend has received 47 representations, mainly about the form that privatisation might take, and its practical effects.

Mrs. Michie

Does the Minister recall that when the Secretary of State made a statement yesterday on the privatisation of the Scottish Bus Group he said that he was not yet in a position to say what the future will hold for Caledonian MacBrayne? In view of the anxiety in the Highlands and Islands about the future of Cal Mac, will he at least give us some idea of when he can make a statement? Is it to be this year, next year, or when?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

It remains under consideration. However, I am glad to confirm to the hon. Lady that we regard the services to the islands—of which she is a representative—as a lifeline. It will also continue to be our policy to keep down travel costs to the islands. I appreciate that her constituents will want to know as soon as practicable.

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