HC Deb 18 July 1979 vol 970 cc759-60W
Mr. Adley

asked the Minister of Transport how he anticipates the increase in oil prices will affect the competitiveness of oil-fired transport modes in relation to modes motivated by non-oil fuels.

Mr. Fowler

The competitiveness of rail services generally will be increased by higher fuel prices because oil costs represent a smaller proportion of the total costs of rail than of road transport. The merits of further main line electrification are currently being reviewed by a joint working group of officials from my Department and the British Railways Board. I expect its interim report shortly.

As far as road transport is concerned, there is a great deal of research under way into non-oil-based fuels, but their use on any substantial scale is still a good way off.