The totals for 1969 are not yet available. From 1960 to 1964 the annual average rate of total route mileage closure was 498; from 1965 to 1968 it was 886. For passenger route mileage alone the figures are 478 and 549 respectively.
The present policy envisages 11,000 route miles, of which 8,000 will carry passengers. In each case the figure is about 3,000 more than would have resulted from the Beeching proposals. The system of grants for unremunerative passenger services ensures that socially necessary services are kept open. The Government are paying nearly £60 million a year to keep open socially necessary services.
Is my hon. Friend aware that the Government's action under the Transport Act in subsidising socially desirable but financially unremunerative railway lines has been greatly welcomed, particularly by my constituents in Hull, as it has kept open a very valuable line for them to get to the seaside and helps to build up the economy of the area?