Wissington Light Railway

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd July 1956.

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Photo of Mr Sidney Dye Mr Sidney Dye , South West Norfolk 12:00 am, 2nd July 1956

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what communications have passed between himself and the British Transport Commission regarding the future of the Wissington light railway.

Mr. Amory:

None, Sir.

Photo of Mr Sidney Dye Mr Sidney Dye , South West Norfolk

Can the right hon. Gentleman explain why, in the case of a light railway with standard gauge, which has been owned by his Ministry since before the other railways were nationalised, no communications were sent to the British Transport Commission but that the railway was offered to the farmers of the neighbourhood to try to keep it going? Does not that sound silly?

Mr. Amory:

The hon. Member is familiar with this railway, and I am therefore surprised that he should think that it could conceivably be of interest to the British Transport Commission, which, I understand, is anxious to close down uneconomic branch lines. There are peculiar difficulties in this case. For instance, there is no direct connection between this railway and the British Transport Commission's system. The only connection is through a siding in a factory of the British Sugar Corporation.

Photo of Mr Sidney Dye Mr Sidney Dye , South West Norfolk

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that vegetables are regularly despatched by this light railway to Stratford Market and that the railway is the best means of getting them there? Does he not realise that they will have to be taken by road if the railway is closed down?

Mr. Amory:

The hon. Gentleman will agree that the tonnage carried by this railway has been falling steadily and that it is now running at a very low figure indeed.