asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what increase in the number of public transport vehicles, licensed under his regulations, will result from the decision of the London Transport Executive to replace 70-seat trolley buses with 64-seat diesel buses; and what steps he is taking to see that an increase of traffic congestion will not be the result.
I am told by the British Transport Commission that so far as can be foreseen the replacement will involve an increase of about 30 vehicles. Experience indicates that the motorbus, with its greater mobility, is less liable to cause traffic congestion in London streets. Further, the diesel buses will be shorter than the existing trolley buses.
The health consequences of the substitution of diesel buses was dealt with by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health in reply to a Question on 6th May. "So far as can be foreseen" was a prudent observation because, if the Commission or the Executive substitute these buses for all their trolley buses it would mean 30 more vehicles. They may decide, on examination, not to go as far as that
Is it not the case —I know it was, but I do not know whether it still is—that trolley buses are cheaper vehicles to run than petrol or diesel buses? Are they not cleaner and sweeter-moving vehicles than the others, and is the right hon. Gentleman quite sure that the London Transport Executive is right to make this change?
I understand that the operator in this field, who should, I think, be given the responsibility, agrees both that it will be better to run and will take up less road space.