asked the Minister of Transport what is the practice for ensuring that uneconomic branch railway lines are kept in service when he receives recommendations to that effect from Transport Consultative Committees.
Recommendations from the Consultative Committees are made both to me and to the British Transport Commission, and I am empowered to give the Commission such directions as I think fit. Where, following such a recommendation, it is decided to maintain a railway service even though it is uneconomic, the cost remains a charge upon the public funds voted to meet railway deficits. Any financial objectives set for the Commission under the provisions of Command 1337 (The Financial and Economic Obligations of the Nationalised Industries) may be adjusted accordingly. The position is broadly the same under Clause 57 of the Transport Bill, though under that Clause my consent will be required to every opposed railway closure.