HC Deb 13 October 1976 vol 917 cc414-5
9. Mr. Ronald Atkins

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has plans to make an official visit to Garve, Achnasheen, Plockton and Kyle of Lochalsh.

Mr. Gregor MacKenzie

My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

Mr. Atkins

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the most civilised way of getting there is by a railway that is both a tourist attraction and an infrastructure that is more important to the life of the community than regional grants? Will he keep it open after the oil platform at Kishorn has been completed?

Mr. Mackenzie

The future of individual services is a matter in the first instance for the British Railways Board. I have not heard of any proposals for the withdrawal of passenger services on the line my hon. Friend has mentioned. As regards the future of the railways as a whole, the Government's transport policy consultation document gives an opportunity for discussion of these matters.

Mr. Gray

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that it was only after years of fighting with successive Governments that the line was retained? Will he note that it is imperative that any future plans for rail cuts do not refer to this line?

Mr. Mackenzie

I remind the hon. Gentleman that it was this Government who saved the line.

Hon. Members


Mr. Monro

How on earth can the Minister justify—

Mr. Speaker

Order. Mr. Hector Monro, Question No. 10.