HC Deb 11 March 1964 vol 691 c61W
Mr. Speir

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will now make a further statement on the action he proposes to take about the rural transport problem.

Mr. Marples

In the light of the special studies of rural transport I have had consultations with representatives of local authorities and bus operators. The studies to date have produced no unanimity about what is the right solution to this problem. It is clear that only by experiment can we test the validity of the various remedies that have been suggested. We therefore plan to conduct practical experiments in selected rural areas which can be taken as typical examples. Some of them will be areas where we have already held local surveys which provide much valuable background data. The areas already chosen are in Lincolnshire, Montgomeryshire, Northamptonshire and Westmorland. The ways in which we can experiment will be settled through local consultations in each of the areas concerned between representatives of the local authorities, bus operators, and welfare organisations. The co-operation of all these interests will be essential.

When we have gained practical and positive experience in this way, we shall be in a position to assess the situation generally.