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Rural Services

Volume 927: debated on Wednesday 2 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport what action he proposes to take to improve rural transport services following the Consultative Docu-

class motorways and trunk roads announced in 1971 and whether he will make a statement.

Some 2,100 miles of high quality strategic routes are now open to traffic. The completed strategic network is planned to be about 4,500 miles.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will provide a list of all major road schemes, with estimated starting dates at present in the preparation pool.

pursuant to his replies [Official Report,1st February 1977, Vol. 924, c. 106; and 2nd February 1977, c. 177], circulated the following amendments and additions:ment on Transport; and whether he will make a statement.

Rural transport will be one of the subjects to be dealt with in the forthcoming Transport Policy White Paper. Meanwhile, although central Government can set the overall framework, it is for local government to determine local needs and make provision accordingly. To this end my right hon. Friend has accepted for transport supplementary grant for 1977–78 virtually all shire county estimates for bus revenue support, some £31 million—November 1975 prices—and it remains Government policy to give priority in the allocation of support to proposals aimed at maintaining minimum levels of service, especially in rural areas.In addition the series of rural transport experiments, which my right hon. Friends and I are promoting in four areas of Great Britain, will be starting on the ground over the next few months, and provide guidance on ways of complementing conventional rural buses with unconventional arrangements to meet needs too scattered and irregular to be met by a normal bus service.