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.
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?
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.