HC Deb 06 December 1979 vol 975 cc340-1W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Minister of Transport to what extent his Department estimates the abolition of fares on all public transport would encourage motorists to use same, thus saving fuel; and to what extent the consequent saving of currency on the purchase of fuel from overseas would offset the loss of internal revenue on public transport.

Mr. Fowler

Judging by the amount paid in public transport passenger fares in 1978 the cost (at 1978 prices) would be about £1,800 million plus the extra cost of carrying new traffic generated by abolition. Savings in fuel would be problematical as more would be consumed by buses and trains and it is unclear from studies so far done that much reduction in car traffic would take place