HL Deb 20 April 1972 vol 330 cc184-5

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) the completion date of the new Railway Museum at York; (2) the closing date of the present Transport Museum at Clapham; and (3) the future of the London Transport relics which will remain in London.


My Lords, the latest estimate is that the necessary building work at York will be completed in March, 1974, and that the new National Railway Museum will be opened to the public towards the end of that year. The closing date of the Clapham museum is a matter for the British Railways Board, but I understand that no date has yet been fixed. The future of the London Transport relics is a matter for the London Transport Executive. They have declined the offer of temporary accommodation in the Science Museum premises at Hayes, and are considering alternative solutions.


My Lords, while thanking my noble friend for that Answer, may I ask him to bear in mind how much it will be appreciated not only by schools but also by enthusiasts all over the world, if Clapham can be kept open as late as possible prior to the move to York? Can he also tell the House what will be the final cost of the new National Railway Museum in York, and how much of that cost will be met from the sale of land at Clapham?


My Lords, I agree with my noble friend that we must try to keep to the minimum the interval between closing Clapham and opening York. I cannot give an estimate of the final cost, but I can tell my noble friend that the building at York which has been undertaken by British Railways is independent of the sum realised for the site in Clapham.


My Lords, may I ask the Minister to do all he can to see that the actual London Transport exhibits, which so many people have admired and loved, and which are unique, are not just put in some old barn and left to rot?


My Lords, I hope that what the noble Baroness has said will reach the ears of those concerned. But I can at any rate assure her that facilities for viewing the relics will be available to the public while a more permanent home is being chosen. I believe that London Transport are considering some quite interesting sites.