Road Transport (Alternative Facilities)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th November 1956.

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Photo of Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke , Darwen 12:00 am, 28th November 1956

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will issue a general direction to the British Transport Commission, that it should proceed no further with the closure or dismantling of any railway line whilst the present shortage of oil fuel continues.

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

No, Sir. The Commission has assured me that in present circumstances it will have special regard to the importance of maintaining alternative facilities to road transport.

Photo of Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke , Darwen

Is it not wrong that the railways, including the Transport Commission, should be tearing up rails in the Isle of Wight and elsewhere which might well be needed over the next six months or more?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

So far as the Isle of Wight is concerned, I would say that where a railway is in process of being dismantled it is not possible to make it safe again for use in a reasonable time. I am sure that the British Transport Commission will not, in present circumstances, start dismantling lines of which it can make adequate use.