§ Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to introduce legislation to require local authorities to dispose of their interests in bus companies; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Freeman
I cannot, of course, anticipate what may be in the legislative programme for next session, but we do intend in this Parliament to fulfil our pledge given before the last General Election that we will take action to privatise the remaining local authority bus companies.
Meanwhile, I am encouraged that there have been three sales in the last six months, Merseybus, Strathclyde and Preston Borough Transport, and I know that many other local authorities have expressed a desire to transfer their public transport companies to the private sector.