§ 59. Mr. Geraint Howells
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on rural transport provision.
§ Mr. Portillo
The provisions of rural transport is chiefly a matter for local transport operators and for local authorities. Under the Transport Act 1985 the operators can provide services wherever they see a commercial opportunity to do so. Local authorities may make provision for additional socially necessary services, under subsidy, after going out to competitive tender. In addition, the rural transport development fund, administered by the Rural Development Commission, receives £1 million a year from the Department of Transport to assist the provision of innovative rural transport services in England. In Wales and Scotland, the Welsh and Scottish Offices administer similar rural transport innovation grant schemes.