Railway Policy

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 4:37 pm on 26th June 1990.

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Photo of Mr Peter Snape Mr Peter Snape , West Bromwich East 4:37 pm, 26th June 1990

Does the right hon. Gentleman accept that the percentages quoted are typically misleading and are, unfortunately, the sort of statistics that have emanated from the Department of Transport for too many years? The figures on freight include local deliveries, milk floats and all sorts of deliveries that are carried on the road, with which the railways would not and could not compete. We are talking about the contribution that rail freight could make at the heaviest end of the freight market over long distances. Given the right hon. Gentleman's palpable ignorance, he should be told that as his Department has, in the past 10 years, twice increased lorry weights and once increased lorry speeds, it is not surprising that the rail freight business is now facing a financial crisis.