§ Mr. Boyden
asked the Minister of Transport (1) if he will give a general direction in the public interest to the Railways Board that, when transport users' consultative committees are considering alternatives to passenger railway services, the Board should show, with its estimates of income and expenditure for passengers, the volume of use of the line for freight and reserve working;
(2) if he will give a general direction in the public interest to the Railways Board that, when transport users' consultative committees are considering alternatives to passenger railway services, the Board should include in its estimates of income for the line and show separately other revenue attributable to use of the line by passengers buying tickets elsewhere, credits for passengers travelling beyond the stations to be closed, parcels revenue, credit for Government warrants, credit for use by railway servants and their families, and miscellaneous receipts from advertisements, stalls, etc., on platforms.
§ Mr. Marples
No. The consultative committees' function under Section 56 of the Transport Act, 1962,is to consider objections and assess hardship. For this purpose they receive from the Board detailed information about the numbers of passengers carried and the alternative services likely to be available. The other information which they need must be supplied by the users themselves, namely evidence of hardship. Neither the assessment of hardship, nor the need for alternative services if the closure were to take place, is dependent upon railway receipts of one kind or another or the use of the line by other services.
The financial information which the Board supplies is primarily for background. It comprises the annual receipts 231W and direct costs attributable to the service. The receipts relate to all passenger travel on the service itself irrespective of where tickets are obtained. In his independent report, to which I referred in my Answer to the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. G. Wilson) on 24th October, Sir William Carrington concluded that this information is appropriate for the purpose of the committees in carrying out their duties under Section 56, and that the bases for its compilation are well founded and sound in principle.