§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton)
My right hon. Friend has received a small number of representations from local interested parties about rail services from Carstairs to Edinburgh. The detailed operation of the railways, including the precise level of services to be offered on individual lines, is, however, a matter for British Rail.
§ Mr. Hood
The Minister is aware that Carstairs rail junction used to be known as the gateway to Scotland. Is he further aware that since InterCity ceased to stop trains at Carstairs, my 50,000 Clydesdale constituents have been deprived of rail services to the capital city of Scotland? Will he reflect on what he has told the House and arrange a meeting—a meeting that I would want to attend—to encourage InterCity to reinstate rail services between Carstairs and Edinburgh? That would not only open up employment and cultural pursuits for my 50,000 constituents but open up the Clyde valley for tourism.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
The detailed operation of the railways, including the precise level of services on individual lines is, at present, a matter for British Rail. British Rail is encouraged to tailor its service to meet the markets concerned. The Secretary of State for Transport, because of his overall responsibilities for railways, may, however, give British Rail such directions as he thinks fit, with regard to recommendations made by transport users' consultative committees. I will certainly pass on the hon. Gentleman's representations to him.