HC Deb 12 February 1964 vol 689 cc68-70W
29. Mr. Mallalieu

asked the Minister of Transport if he has received the report of the Transport Users' Consultative Committee on the proposed closure of the railway to passengers between New Holland and Barton-on-Humber and New Holland and Cleethorpes; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Marples

I have received the report. But I cannot make any statement until I have considered it and the representations made to me by local authorities and others on matters other than hardship.

50. Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

asked the Minister of Transport if he will list the name or designation of each body or person objecting, through the regional transport users' consultative committee, to the proposed closures on the Inverness-Kyle and Fort William-Mallaig lines, respectively.

Mr. Marples

I understand that there are over 300 and 30 objections respectively, to these proposed closures. I will, if the hon. Member wishes, send him a full list of them when I receive the Transport Users' Consultative Committee's report.

51. Mr. W. Hamilton

asked the Minister of Transport what was the nature of the representations made to him recently by the Scottish Council concerning the Government's policy on rail closures in Scotland; and what reply he sent.

Mr. Marples

The Scottish Council have made their views known to the Government on several occasions, both in response to requests by the Government and independently. Their representations were mainly concerned with the importance of taking account of various aspects of regional development before decisions on closure proposals were taken. As the House knows, they amplified these representations at a meeting with the Prime Minister on 27th January.

66. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the failure by British Railways to present alternative arrangements to alleviate hardship when proposing to close the Crook-Bishop Auckland-Darlington passenger service, and of the adjournment by the North-East Transport Users' Consultative Committee of their hearing until satisfactory alternative proposals were submitted by British Railways; and to what extent he takes into account such failures of the Railway Board to make proposals for alternative services, when reaching his decisions on railway closure proposals.

Mr. Marples

Yes. The Railways Board are, of course, not required by statute to propose additional alternative services, but it is helpful to objectors and the. Transport Users' Consultative Committee if they do so. My decisions are reached on all the facts of each case, and I would not be inhibited from requiring the provision of an alternative service, as a condition of my consent, merely because the Board had not proposed it.

Mr. Longden

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has yet received the report of the Transport Users' Consultative Committee for London on the proposed railway closure between Watford Junction and Croxley Green.

Mr. Marples


Mr. Harold Davies

asked the Minister of Transport what is his estimate of the saving achieved by closing for normal passenger traffic the railway line between Leek and Uttoxeter; and what is his estimate of the economic and social costs of providing adequate alternative transport.

Mr. Marples

I have not yet completed my consideration of this closure proposal.

Mr. H. Clark

asked the Minister of Transport if he will give an assurance that he will not take decisions on the Railways Board's proposals to close railways serving seaside resorts and tourist interests until after the close of the 1964 holiday season.

Mr. Marples

I recognise that many people will want to be certain of their holiday travel arrangements in advance.

The Railways Board are likely to propose for closure in the next few months a number of passenger services to holiday resorts. Owing to the requirements of the statutory procedure I should not in any case be able to announce my decision on these proposals until well into the summer. I have accordingly arranged with the Board that where, after studying the T.U.C.C. report and all other relevant factors, I consent to any such proposal, my consent will not take effect before 1st October. This is of course without prejudice to whether I grant or refuse my consent in any particular case.

Closure proposals which have already been published by the Board are at various stages of consideration. In making my decision on each of these I shall beat in mind its possible effect on holiday travel arrangements this summer.

Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Transport if he will specify the areas in north-east Scotland which are to be affected by railway closures where objections, lodged and heard under section 58(8) of the Transport Act, 1962, have already been overruled by him.

Mr. Marples

I have not yet reached my decision on any of the closure proposals affecting this area.

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