HC Deb 19 March 1896 vol 38 cc1334-5

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether the mail bags were conveyed from St. Martin's-le-Grand to Euston Station, and vice versa, in four minutes by the pneumatic tube, and whether, from the starting of the vans at the platform at St. Martin's-le-Grand to the starting of the train at Euston at 8.30 p.m., the average time throughout the day is 34 minutes; what was this reason why the working of the pneumatic tube was abandoned; whether, if all the district post offices of London were connected by electric railway arid pneumatically, as in the proposal now before the Postmaster General, letters could be posted at such district post offices, including St. Martin's-le-Grand, almost up to the time of the starting of the trains at 8.30 p.m. from Euston (North Western Railway), St. Pancras (Midland Railway), and King's Cross (Great Northern Railway); and, whether at present letters without extra stamps for same trains have to be posted at or before 6 p.m., or 2½ hours before the starting of such trains?


The average time occupied in the transmission of bags by the Pneumatic Dispatch Company's tube from Euston Station to the General Post, Office was 17 minutes. The time occupied by mail van is 19 minutes. It is understood that the working of the pneumatic tube was abandoned because it was not a practical or financial success. It would not be possible under the circumstances stated, to receive letters at the district post offices almost up to the time of the starting of the mail trains. Time must still be allowed for selection and sorting, and the gain at most would be the difference between the time occupied in travelling by the new method and that now occupied by mail cart. Letters without extra stamps for dispatch by the trains mentioned have now to be posted at 6 p.m. With a late fee of one halfpenny they can be posted at Paddington up to 7 p.m.—at all the other district offices up to 7.30 p.m.—and the General Post Office up to 7.45 p.m.