British Rail

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th March 1983.

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Photo of David Marshall David Marshall , Glasgow Shettleston 12:00 am, 16th March 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what payments to British Rail under section 20 of the Transport Act 1968 have been made in Scotland in each of the last three years.

Photo of Mr Reginald Eyre Mr Reginald Eyre , Birmingham, Hall Green

In 1980 and 1981 the payments were £20·5 million and £20·6 million respectively, subject to audit. Final figures of payments for 1982 are not yet available, but the section 20 claim for the year was £27·8 million.

Photo of David Marshall David Marshall , Glasgow Shettleston

Is the Minister aware that public transport in Strathclyde is facing a financial crisis and that serious consideration is being given to closing three bus garages and the recently modernised underground system in Glasgow? Will he consider making section 20 payments the responsibility of central Government, not that of local authorities, as at present, thus giving a much needed boost to public transport and employment prospects in PTE areas?

Photo of Mr Reginald Eyre Mr Reginald Eyre , Birmingham, Hall Green

I cannot comment on the first matters that the hon. Gentleman mentioned, because they are the responsibility of the Strathclyde regional council. In answer to the hon. Gentleman's second point, the rail services required by the PTE govern eventually the calculation of the costs involved.

Photo of Mr Robert Hughes Mr Robert Hughes , Aberdeen North

Has the Minister plans to extend to other parts of Scotland the PTA/PTE system?

Photo of Mr Reginald Eyre Mr Reginald Eyre , Birmingham, Hall Green

No. To my knowledge it is confined to the Strathclyde area.