Leek — Stoke-on-Trent Line (Closure)

Oral Answers to Questions — Railways – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th February 1964.

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Photo of Mr Harold Davies Mr Harold Davies , Leek 12:00 am, 12th February 1964

asked the Minister of Transport what is his estimate of the savings following the closure of the Leek to Stoke-on-Trent railway line; and what are his estimates of the social and economic costs of providing adequate alternative services, especially in view of the growth and development of population in the Baddeley Green, Stockton Brook and Endon areas, which the line previously served.

Photo of Hon. Thomas Galbraith Hon. Thomas Galbraith , Glasgow Hillhead

We have made no estimates relating to this closure, which took place in 1956.

Photo of Mr Harold Davies Mr Harold Davies , Leek

This is it. Is the Minister aware that no real estimates have been made to substantiate even the Beeching Report which in this instance was based on the experience of simply a couple of days in the whole year? Is the Minister to try to get the social costs of this matter in keeping with paragraph 55 of the Beeching Report, which says that the social costs should be taken into consideration? In view of the Buchanan Report and the possibility of North Staffordshire having regional planning, will the Minister say that this line shall be kept open in future because of the growing population of the area?

Photo of Hon. Thomas Galbraith Hon. Thomas Galbraith , Glasgow Hillhead

The hon. Member is quite right. This is it, but it is "it" in a sense he does not realise because this line was closed under the Act of 1947 which was brought into effect by the Government which he supported, whereas our 1962 Act would have seen that the Minister knew all about this matter.

Photo of Mr Harold Davies Mr Harold Davies , Leek

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that even when his party is on the eve of a General Election social responsibility such as this is not the subject for a cheap crack, but it is a vital issue for the people concerned and not merely for a political party?