Public Transport (London)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th July 1988.

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Photo of Mr John Marshall Mr John Marshall , Hendon South 12:00 am, 11th July 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he expects to announce a major initiative to improve public transport in London.

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , North West Hampshire

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced a study into the overcrowding problems on British Rail and London Underground services in central London in March this year. It is too early to say what proposals may emerge from it.

Photo of Mr John Marshall Mr John Marshall , Hendon South

May my hon. Friend tell the House when he expects this study to be concluded? May we have an assurance that a major factor in the study will be the proposals that have been put forward to improve the capacity on the Northern line, which has been described by the chairman of London Regional Transport as "an abomination"?

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , North West Hampshire

We expect the central London rail study to report shortly to Ministers. We shall have to consider it before we can come to any conclusions on it. Investment for improvements to the London Underground is running at the rate of £1 million a day, and that is nearly 60 per cent. higher in real terms than in 1984–85.

Photo of John Home Robertson John Home Robertson , East Lothian

Will the Minister take this opportunity to say something about the shameful chaos at London's airports? Why are the Government failing to carry out the investment programme that is required to bring air traffic control in the south of England up to the standard that ought to be required?

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , North West Hampshire

That is a somewhat different question, but I can tell the hon. Gentleman that the problem lies, not in the airports, but in congestion in the air space.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Epping Forest

Can my hon. Friend confirm the report in Private Eye that London Buses Ltd. is thinking again about the introduction of one-person operated buses in central London?

Photo of Mr David Mitchell Mr David Mitchell , North West Hampshire

London Buses Ltd. identifies appropriate services for the introduction of one-man operation. It is not the intention of London Buses Ltd. to operate such buses throughout the system. It is a question of considering the matter route by route and forming a judgment about the best method for each route.