HC Deb 24 May 1897 vol 49 cc1144-5

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that the London and North Western Railway Company now run some of their express trains to Holyhead in from half an hour to an hour less time than they take to carry the mails on the day service between London and Holyhead; whether, as the mail train service is so heavily subsidised by the Government, he will take steps to secure that the Irish mail trains on the day service are run at a speed at least equal to the 10.15 p.m. express train belonging to the same Company, which is not subsidised; and whether, in view of the strong representations made as to the inconvenience to the travelling public of the early departure of the Irish day mail trains from Euston and Westland Row, he proposes to alter the starting hour from Euston to 8.30 a.m. and from Westland Row to 7.45 a.m.?


One of the express trains from Euston, namely, the 10.15 p.m. train recently established, travels to Holyhead in 5 hours 15 minutes, while the day mail train, which leaves Euston at 7.15 a.m. occupied 6 hours and 5 minutes. The express train only makes one stop on the way, namely, at Crewe, but the day mail train stops at five intermediate stations. The speed of the day mail trains has not been accelerated, as the postal advantages to be secured were not such as appeared to justify the additional expense. The times of departure of the day mail trains from Euston and Westland How respectively were fully considered in connection with the changes which took effect on the 1st April, but the interests of the mail service could not of course, be entirely sacrificed to the convenience of the passengers. The present hour of dispatch of the mail from Euston was therefore maintained, namely, 7.15 a.m., so as to secure an early delivery of the day mail letters in Dublin; but as regards the up mail, the Postmaster General was able so far to meet the desire in Ireland for a later dispatch from Westland Row as to fix the hour at 7.10 a.m., instead of at 6.40 a.m. Any later dispatch than 7.10 a.m. would have resulted, not only in a later delivery of the correspondence in London and other towns in England, but in a failure of connection via Chester and Preston with the day mail to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

MR. P. J. O'BRIEN (Tipperary, N.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether any steps have been taken to carry out the promise he gave some time ago for the improvement of the mail service to the south of Ireland by affording an earlier daily delivery of letters to Roscrea, Nenagh, Birr, and towns adjoining; or if he can state when, or how soon, the desired change may be effected for these localities?


The promise referred to was that the Postmaster General would take into consideration a suggestion that the day mail bags for Roscrea, Nenagh, Birr, etc., should be put out of the mail train from Dublin at Ballybrophy Junction and a goods train from that point utilized for their conveyance to destination. This suggestion has been placed before the Railway Company, who state that the alterations necessary to make the goods train available would result in serious inconvenience and that the suggestion is not one which they can adopt. There is no other way of accelerating the day mail service to the towns in question, at a cost which the post office would be justified in expending.