HC Deb 28 March 1969 vol 780 cc383-4W
Mr. Ronald Bell

asked the Minister of Transport (1) upon what figure of annual loss on that service he based his proposal about the future of the High Wycombe-Marylebone railway service;

(2) what method of assessing the profitability of a railway service was used in deciding the future of the High Wycombe-Marylebone service;

(3) on what evidence he based his assessment that better interchange facilities are available for passengers at Paddington Station than at Marylebone;

(4) in what respects he decided that the diversion of the High Wycombe-Marylebone service to Paddington represents better value for money.

Mr. Marsh

The estimated loss on the Aylesbury - High Wycombe - Marylebone service in 1969 is £552,000. This figure is calculated on the same basis as that used for all the grants announced in my Answer on 28th January to my hon. Friend the Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Manuel), and is that recommended by the Joint Steering Group, described in the Annex to the White Paper on Railway Policy (Cmnd. 3439). The grant was assessed by deducting estimated earnings of £620,000 from estimated total costs of £1,172,000.

At Paddington passengers would have direct access to the Queen's Park branch of the Bakerloo line, and to the Circle, Metropolitan and District lines, besides the Western Region main line services to South Wales, the West Country and the West Midlands. At Marylebone there is direct access only to the Queen's Park branch of the Bakerloo line.

Diversion of the Aylesbury-High Wycombe-Marylebone service into Paddington would make possible the saving of the cost, amounting in all to about £140,000 per annum, of the six miles of double track between Northolt and Neasden Junctions and of the four intermediate stations. It would also permit more intensive use to be made of Paddington Station, which has recently been resignalled and is being modernised.—[Vol. 776, c. 295–96.]

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