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After my right hon. Friend has decided that extra buses are needed following a rail passenger closure, he makes it a condition of his consent that they must be provided when it takes place. In regard to bus services in industrial areas generally, I should be happy to look into any particular cases which the hon. Member likes to bring to my attention.
The hon. Member has stated something with which, in general, I am in perfect agreement. If he will give particular instances where that is not happening I shall be delighted to look into them.
People come from all parts of the country to seaside resorts. How can we arrange to provide buses to transport people from all over the country, thousands of them, to a seaside resort if the railway station there is closed?
This question refers to industrial areas, but I am willing to answer my hon. Friend the Member for Horncastle (Sir J. Maitland). The answer is that the buses run from the nearest railway terminus wherever that may be.
When the Minister makes his final decision in favour of a closure there should be adequate bus services. If a bus company, because of a loss on those services, is not renewing its licences, what steps does the Minister take to ensure that the Railways Board continues to run a road service to cater for those needs? According to the Minister himself, it is the job of the Railways Board when the need is proved to provide a service.
I thought that the hon. Member would know that my right hon. Friend lays it down as a condition that when a railway service is withdrawn a bus service should be supplied in its place. The railways cannot remove that bus service without getting my right hon. Friend's permission.