A New Look at Transport
Road Building on a Massive Scale
Mr Sydney Chapman, Stalybridge and Hyde: Cheshire moving a resolution welcoming the Beeching report as a blueprint for the future role of British Railways, but urging the Government once again to stress that no line or station will be closed unless there was an alternative adequate and efficient public transport service available.
He said the Beeching report gave the economic answer to the problem, but it was now the duty of the government to make the political decision which should be based on efficient and economy and also on understanding.
The Government had a responsibility to the community to ensure that there were adequate and efficient public transport services to every area up and down the kingdom. They also had responsibility to the taxpayer to see that his money was not wasted.
More Have Cars
If the railways were allowed to continue in the present state the deficit would be ever increasing in subsequent years. As long as there was a Conservative Government, more and more people would have cars and fewer people would use railways as a necessity.
Mr John Birch, Stalybridge, seconding, said that the biggest problem was the human one, the problem of possible redundancy. "There will need to be special consideration given to certain grades of staff in certain areas, notably the North East and the Scottish regions"
Mr Birch said that there should be greater incentive to mobility and better grants provided towards removal expenses. "Our impatience to put things right must never prejudice our patience with people's rights. Efficiency with consideration - that is the key phrase"
Mr R Tasker, North West to Leeds, said the second phase of the Beeching plan was yet to come , and he thought it would raise even more controversy than the first stage.
Mr Ernest Marples, Minister of Transport, said he would see, where necessary, that adequate alternative means of transport were available before railway closures were sanctioned.
In considering proposals to close lines, he said, he had to see that the roads were adequate and also that buses met trains and other buses. He was in constant touch with his fellow-Ministers in all aspects, and if there was going to be any industrial development it was taken into account before he made his decision.
No two cases were alike, he added. They had to be considered individually on their merits. There was a great fuss before a line was to be closed which was often exaggerated.
Promising that the Beeching report would be part of "a new look" at transport in general, Mr Marples said: - "We are building roads on a massive scale and it is mounting each year rapidly. I accept this motion and assure you that the motto in my Ministry is "Let us get on with modernisation, but be efficient and human while doing it" The resolution was carried.