Cars

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st November 1994.

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Photo of Andrew Miller Andrew Miller , Ellesmere Port and Neston 12:00 am, 21st November 1994

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action the Government intend to take to meet the concerns of the Royal Commission on environmental pollution over predicted levels of car dependency.

Photo of Dr Brian Mawhinney Dr Brian Mawhinney The Secretary of State for Transport

The Government have welcomed the Royal Commission's report and are studying carefully all the recommendations, including their potential benefits and costs.

Photo of Andrew Miller Andrew Miller , Ellesmere Port and Neston

The Minister will understand the importance of vehicle building to my constituency. Does he agree that this matter also presents a classic argument for integration? Vauxhall is producing the magnificent V6 engine, 100 per cent. of which is exported to Europe. It needs to get that engine on to trains. Thus far, British Rail has failed to deliver. Is not that the best argument for the Minister, his colleagues with economic portfolios and those in the Department of the Environment to get together and to make the system work in the interests of British manufacturers?

Photo of Dr Brian Mawhinney Dr Brian Mawhinney The Secretary of State for Transport

First,I understand the point that the hon. Gentleman legitimately makes on behalf of his constituents. Secondly, if the hon. Gentleman has anxieties about the attitude of British Rail or Railtrack, he should pursue them with the appropriate bodies. Thirdly, it is precisely because we wish to introduce systems that are more sensitive to the customers' needs, with a relaxation of investment rules and the rest of it, that we intend to privatise. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will join us in supporting that on behalf of the constituents for whom he has shown such legitimate concern.

Photo of Alan Haselhurst Alan Haselhurst , Saffron Walden

Does my right hon. Friend agree that in meeting the serious issues put before us by the royal commission, we need to be careful of the concerns of people who live in rural areas such as mine about the consequences of a drastic assault on vehicular transport, particularly when there are no alternative forms of transport in rural areas, let alone anything that might be called integrated?

Photo of Dr Brian Mawhinney Dr Brian Mawhinney The Secretary of State for Transport

My hon. Friend is right. I assure him that his point is high on our agenda as we consider the recommendations and decide how we might wish to respond to them.