§ Mr. Godman Irvine
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, in view of the proposal by the bus operators to withdraw bus services from Rye to Ashford and the earlier decision to close the Ashford-Ore railway line, what steps he is proposing to take to ensure that public transport services in this area are maintained.
§ Mr. Michael Heseltine
I understand that the bus operators are consulting the local authorities about these proposed withdrawals. Local authorities have powers to assist rural bus services with a 50 per cent. contribution from my Department. The Ashford-Ore railway line is still in operation and the provision of a replacement bus service is a condition of the consent to its closure.