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Local Bus Services

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th December 1980.

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Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington 12:00 am, 10th December 1980

asked the Minister of Transport what sum of money he has earmarked as a cash incentive to local authorities for the promotion of private enterprise local bus services.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

None. The transport supplementary grant settlement, which will be announced next week, will include provision for revenue support which counties will be able to use to promote local bus services of all kinds.

Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington

Is it not true that Devon, Herefordshire, Norfolk and Worcester have been offered money—indeed, several hundred thousand pounds? Is there not a danger that that money could be used simply to purchase free buses for private enterprise operators?

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

The hon. Gentleman has made two mistakes. First, Hereford and Worcester are now the same county. Secondly, no such money has been offered for the purpose that he describes. The counties, I am glad to say, are contemplating trial areas. Some counties have approached us about the possibility of extra revenue support to meet the transitional costs of their trial areas. That revenue support for those counties, as for any others, will be available to the operators that are best placed to provide a service to the passengers, regardless of whether they are in the public or the private sector.