HC Deb 05 August 1965 vol 717 cc416-7W
Sir M. Galpern

asked the Minister of Transport, how many bus services in Scotland, which were considered by him to provide adequate means of alternative transport before he sanctioned local rail closures, have been withdrawn because of uneconomic running costs; and if, in view of the fact that the Traffic Commissioners who granted the licence cannot order a bus operator to continue a service if it is running at a loss, he will take steps to ensure that a bus service which is the only form of local public transport cannot be withdrawn without his consent.

Mr. Tom Fraser

I have agreed to the withdrawal of one additional bus service provided under the conditions of consent to the Craigendoran-Arrochar closure. The Railways Board have also notified me of the withdrawal of an existing service at Invershin, but I understand that the station is still open.

When the conditions of my consent require a new service to be provided as an alternative to rail, the Railways Board must see that it continues to run unless or until I vary the conditions. Where I am notified of withdrawal of an existing service listed in the consent, I can, if I think it necessary, vary my consent to require the service to be provided.

Bus services generally are operated as commercial undertakings, and it would not be practicable to compel an operator to continue to run a service if for economic reasons he felt unable to do so and, therefore, surrendered his licence.