Railway Fares.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons on 22nd May 1940.

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Photo of Mr Valentine McEntee Mr Valentine McEntee , Walthamstow West

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the rail fare from Manor House to Leicester Square has recently been raised from 5d. to 6d. and that from Bow Road to Westminster from 5d. to 5½d.; and will he say why in one case the increase is 10 per cent. and in the other case 20 per cent.?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which my predecessor gave on 8th May to my hon. Friend the Member for Seaham (Mr. Shinwell). As was then pointed out, the increase authorised by the Minister's Order was 10 per cent., subject to certain fractions rules, the operation of which was explained. General rules are almost bound to produce some anomalies, and the present case is one.

The rules provide that ordinary fares are to be adjusted to the nearest 1d. Under ½d. is dropped; ½d. and over is charged as 1d. With workmen's fares, under ¼d. is dropped; ¼d. and less than ¾d. is charged as ½d.; ¾d. and over is charged as 1d. The latter rule has not been applied to local workmen's fares on London Transport railways (other than the Metropolitan Railway), because they have charged ordinary single fare for the double journey, and it was desired not to disturb this arrangement. Thus the ordinary single fare and the workmen's return fare were increased from 5d. to 6d. between Manor House and Leicester Square, both local stations of the Board. The ordinary single fare from Bow Road to Westminster was also increased from 5d. to 6d. Bow Road, however, is a joint station with the London Midland and Scottish Railway, so that the special rule was applied to the workmen's return fare, which was increased from 5d. to 5½d.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these anomalies to which he has referred always operate to the disadvantage of the railway traveller? Why cannot they occasionally operate to the disadvantage of the railway company? Will he look into it?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

In this particular case the anomaly has operated to the benefit of workmen and workmen's fares. If it were not for Bow Street being partly an L.M.S. Station, the fare would have been 6d. and not 5½d. This is one anomaly in a very complicated question.

Photo of Mr Valentine McEntee Mr Valentine McEntee , Walthamstow West

Does not the Minister know that the Bow Street he has just mentioned is a police station and not a railway station?