§ 18. Mr. Steele
asked the Minister of Transport if he will introduce legislation to alter the present procedure at public hearings of the transport users' consultative committees to enable consideration to be given to economic development, as stated in paragraph 74 of Command Paper No. 2188.
§ 49. Mr. Millan
asked the Minister of Transport whether he will introduce legislation to widen the powers of transport users' consultative committees in considering railway closures to allow them to take account of considerations other than hardship, for example the prospective economic development of the area affected by the closures.
§ Mr. Marples
No, Sir. Each transport users' consultative committee is appointed after consultation with user interests, and the assessment of hardship is entirely appropriate to such a body. But the wider effects of closures on, for example, economic development can only be judged by the Government. I consult my colleagues wherever their responsibilities are involved. My decision is taken on an overall assessment of the merits of each case.
§ Mr. Marples
The Transport Users' Consultative Committee have the duty of considering matters affecting the services of the four Transport Boards. In particular the area committees are responsible for considering objections from users to railway passenger closure proposals and for reporting to me on hardship. I am satisfied that their powers are right for their functions.