HC Deb 20 March 1896 vol 38 cc1457-8

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether it is proposed to extend the system of attaching collecting letter-boxes to trams and omnibuses, to be cleared at the terminus of the journey, so that the public may be enabled to post up to the latest moment, to avoid the delay and labour to the postal officials caused by letters being taken to a central sorting office, and to have the letters conveyed by the most direct route; whether he has been informed that the system has proved a great success, and has become an indispensable part of the postal arrangements in several Australian towns; and whether he will make an experimental trial of it in the chief towns of the United Kingdom, taking care that public attention is called to its advantages?


The system of attaching letter-boxes to tram-cars was introduced at Huddersfield in March, 1893, and upwards of 7,000 letters weekly are at present brought into the head office there by this means. The system has from time to time been extended to, and is still in operation at, other large provincial towns, including Stockport, Wakefield, Dundee, Portsmouth, Bradford, and Swansea. Except at Huddersfield, however, the public do not appear to make much use of the accommodation. At Dublin, indeed, where the system was introduced experimentally, it has been discontinued, because the amount of correspondence collected was not found to be sufficient to warrant the cost of the arrangement. I have no official information of the working of the system in Australia. I am induced, however, to attribute the comparative ill-success of the experiment here to the fact that most provincial towns are so well supplied with letterboxes, cleared at short intervals, that there is no great need of further accommodation of the kind.