Oral Answers to Questions — Travel Facilities, Essex

– in the House of Commons on 14th October 1942.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport what is the time that should elapse between motor-coaches or omnibuses arriving from London at Romford and leaving Romford for Brentwood and Chelmsford; whether he is aware that motor-coaches emptied of passengers at Romford proceed to and from Brentwood without passengers; whether instructions will be given that passengers can travel on all empty motor-coaches going to and from their Brentwood depot; and whether he is satisfied that reasonable connections now exist at these and other parts of Essex, respecing the various services and that no cases exist of time-tables that do not synchronise arrival and departure services?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

Coach services that formerly made through journeys from London to Chelmsford and from London to Southend have been broken at Brentwood and Romford at off-peak hours. This was done in order to divert traffic from road to rail. Through services continue for workers during the peak hours. During the peak hours the service between Romford and Brentwood is run at intervals of less than ten minutes; at other times the intervals are 15 minutes. I am aware that some motor coaches at present travel from Romford to their Brentwood depot without passengers; I am considering whether it is possible to eliminate these journeys. I am satisfied that, if both rail and road facilities are taken into consideration, there are reasonable travel connections at Romford, Brentwood and elsewhere in Essex. If my hon. Friend has in mind places where he thinks that such connections do not exist, I shall be grateful if he will send me particulars.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Is the hon. Gentleman considering sympathetically the possibility of seeing that coaches running from Romford to Brentwood which are empty shall be available to passengers?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

Preferably that the running shall be cut out, because we have to save all the mileage we can.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in Romford passengers often have to stand for 20 minutes or more without any shelter? In view of the coming inclement weather, could some steps be taken to deal with this position?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

I naturally wish to avoid all possible discomfort, but the services are at 10-minute intervals at peak hours and 15-minute intervals at other than peak hours. If passengers have to wait for 20 minutes, something must have gone wrong which is unavoidable.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport how many trains, motor-omnibus services and motor-coaches, respectively, serving Outer London> Essex area have been cancelled simultaneously with the abolition of cheap day fares; by how many running miles, the train services have been reduced through the same reason; and whether, under the new circumstances, workmen's tickets for tramcars and motor-omnibuses can be available at a later hour and on both trolley-buses and motor-omnibuses?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

The mileage saved by the cancellation of through motor coach. services in the Outer London Essex area is 11,252 miles per week. It is not as yet practicable to calculate what economies-will be made in the mileage of motor omnibuses and trains. As I said in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Plaistow (Mr. Thorne) on 30th June, the extension of the hours during which workmen's tickets are available would increase the pressure on services which at their loading peak are already heavily overtaxed, while their extension to trolley omnibuses and motor omnibuses would lead an undesirable diversion of traffic from rail to road. For these reasons, I regret that I cannot adopt my hon. Friend's proposal.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Is my hon. Friend aware that so far as train traffic is concerned, according to the time tables apparently no trains have been taken on? In view of that, is there any reason why cheaper fares should be abolished?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

As I explained in answer to the hon. Member's previous Question, we are hoping to make a great diversion of traffic from road to rail.