§ Sir R. Speir
asked the Minister of Transport what has been the outcome of the discussions her Department has had with representative organisations of local authorities following the Report on the Special Studies of Rural Transport and the local inquiries arranged by her 85W Department; and whether Her Majesty's Government will now take steps to give special assistance to bus operators in the rural areas of Great Britain.
§ Mrs. Castle
The local authority associations supported the case for financial assistance for bus operators running rural services. The bus industry as a whole has already been helped by taxation relief. I am considering what other steps are needed. Ideas for rural areas where demand does not justify a regular bus service were also discussed, such as the development of voluntary car-pool schemes to meet special needs. These are to be examined in detail by a working party including representatives of the interested Government departments and the local authority and bus operator associations.