HC Deb 13 January 1916 vol 77 cc1770-1

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if his attention has been called to the delay in making the new short deviation of the main high road between Folkestone and Dover; if he is aware that this road has been forcibly closed since the great landslide which destroyed the South-Eastern main line beneath, and if his attention has been called to the inconvenience and loss now incurred both by the military authorities and by civilians owing to the delay in reopening the main highway; if he will, in the circumstances, urge the authorities concerned to hurry on the new deviation and, until this is finished, if he will take steps to obtain immediate permission from the Royal Naval Air Service, which without any delay immediately began to make and promptly finished a deviation for themselves, to rejoin the damaged main road for military ambulances travelling between Dover Pier and the different hospitals in the Shorncliffe area to use this temporary junction road; if he is aware that, owing to the state of the interior roads, wounded soldiers transported from Dover to the hospitals in the Shorncliffe area have now, under orders, to be taken in ambulances round by Denton and Broome Park, an additional 10 miles; and if, as the road journey via the Naval Air Service deviation there and back would be less than half (namely, 19 miles) the journey via Denton (namely, 39 miles), he will at once issue instructions for all military vehicles forced to travel between Folkestone and Dover to use the same short road and deviation, in order that both the British and Canadian Governments may be saved the present wastage in wear and tear, in petrol, tyres, and oil, and also in the time of officers and men in charge of transport?


No formal representations on this matter have, so far as I can trace, reached the War Office, but the inconveniences experienced as a result of the recent landslide are known. The reopening of the main highway is a matter for the county authorities, and I believe that the General Officer Commanding concerned is doing all in his power to forward the restoration of the ordinary means of communication. I will ask him to arrange for the temporary utilisation of the shorter route referred to if that can be done.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if his attention has been drawn to the charge now made to private soldiers travelling between Folkestone or Shorncliffe and Dover; if he is aware that soldiers are now charged 3s. 4d. single third-class fare and that the journey by ordinary trains takes three hours; if he is aware of the number of British and Canadian soldiers who have to travel between Dover and the neighbouring camps; if so, can he see his way to make some arrangement for a motor omnibus service between the two towns as a temporary measure; and, if he is able to do so, if this service can also be arranged for Sundays, on which days, when many soldiers travel on leave as well as duty, the afternoon train as at present advertised leaves Folkestone at 2.5 and arrives at Dover, if it is not late, at 7.34?


I am aware that the only means of travelling between Folkestone and Dover is, owing to the recent landslide, circuitous, but I am not aware of any military necessity for soldiers to travel between the two towns mentioned, and I am advised that it is not feasible to set up a motor omnibus service.