§ Mr. Thorne
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps designed to combat the rising cost of public transport to the consumer, particularly in such areas as Lancashire; and if he will make a statement.
§ Dr. Gilbert
Decisions on the levels of bus and rail fares are the responsibility of the Traffic Commissioners and of the British Railways Board respectively. The former have a statutory obligation to have regard to the Price Code and the latter has to submit its proposals to the Price Commission. The Government's policy is that bus fares must at least match increases in costs; and we have set the British Railways Board the target of limiting Government support of the rail passenger system in 1976 to no more than the present level in real terms