HC Deb 12 April 1921 vol 140 cc933-4

asked the Minister of Transport if he has considered the complaints transmitted to him on behalf of traders and the general public against the excessive charges now being made by the North British Railway Company for the carriage of goods and loaded vehicles by the ferry service between Granton and Queensferry; if he can state the hours during which the ferry service is available for public use; and whether, in view of the general complaints of the inefficiency of the service and the oppressive charges, any steps can be taken to compel the railway company to provide a better service at reduced rates or, alternatively, to place the ferry service under public control?


My right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport has been in communication with the North British Railway Company. It appears that in view of the loss in working on these ferries the company has increased the charges, including those on which no statutory maxima have been placed. These increases, in the case of motor cars, are in some instances as high as 400 per cent., and for motor cycles reach 900 per cent. He has, therefore, decided to refer the whole question of the rates to be charged to the Rates Advisory Committee. The Queensferry service is at present available to the public, subject to tidal conditions, from 8.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m., and the Granton service from 8.10 a.m. to 4.20 p.m. Additional sailings were instituted on the Queensferry service as from the 1st April, and the railway company are of opinion that the services now provided by the Queensferry and Granton Ferries are reasonable under existing conditions.