HC Deb 19 June 1967 vol 748 cc183-4W
Mr. Huckfield

asked the Minister of Transport if she will describe the action she takes to ensure that services under threat of closure are run in the most economic and efficient manner possible, when considering applications for such closures.

Mrs. Castle

It is the responsibility of the Railways Board generally to operate services as efficiently and economically as possible. But before reaching a decision on passenger services proposed for withdrawal one of the factors I consider is the likely effect of any alternative methods of operation or level of service. For example, in some cases substantial economies might be achieved by singling track or by introducing conductor guard working. This was one of the considerations that prompted me to set up the special Economic Unit in my Department If necessary I seek further information from the Railways Board on these aspects before taking my decision.