HC Deb 10 March 1925 vol 181 cc1124-6
84. Captain GARRO-JONES

asked the Minister of Transport on what ground the London Traffic Restricted Streets Regulation, made on the 13th February, was ante-dated to the 1st January, which date was prior even to his formal public notice that he intended to make an Order; and whether he is aware that a large number of private omnibus owners are involved in loss by reason of commitments for the purchase of omnibuses, etc., before the Order was made?

85. Lieut.-Colonel Sir F. HALL

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the proposed ante-dating of the Order regarding restricted use of the London streets by omnibuses to the 1st January, 1925, is likely to cause great distress to the small omnibus proprietors, in consequence of many of them having entered into contracts for the construction of new vehicles before the Order was issued, and, seeing that under Section 3 of the London Traffic (Restricted Streets) Order it was agreed that a public inquiry should be held, will he say whether the same has taken place; if not, whether he will reconsider his decision, pending the holding of such public inquiry, in order that those engaged in the industry may have an opportunity of bringing all the facts before him; and whether, under the circumstances, he will withdraw the notice with regard to the retrospective legislation, so that an opportunity may be given to those who have already ordered omnibuses, in order that no undue hardship or unemployment shall be caused thereby?

Colonel ASHLEY

Before making the Order and Regulations in question, I carefully considered the recommendations made in the matter by the London Traffic Advisory Committee. In the public notice of my intention to make an Order, issued on lath January, it was expressly stated that it was proposed to limit the number of omnibuses plying on the restricted streets to those which might have been so plying under the Schedules in force on let January, 1925. Though 14 clear days were given for the receipt of objections, only three objections to the fixing of this date were received, relating to six omnibuses in all. I have already stated in answer to previous questions that the Advisory Committee propose to investigate all the cases in which hardship is now alleged to 'have been caused to omnibus proprietors by the Order and Regulations, and to report to me thereon. Pending the receipt of this report, I am not. prepared to take any action in the matter.


Does not the Minister consider that he has a duty to protect the interests of the private person.

Colonel ASHLEY

Certainly, and I am endeavouring so far as is in my power to be perfectly impartial.


May I ask if my right hon. and gallant Friend is not aware that in some cases these small omnibus proprietors have ordered their omnibuses four or five months before the operation of the Act, and will he consider whether in those cases in which some of the omnibuses have been built only this year, that they can be licensed this year; and taking all these circumstances into consideration, will he see that these omnibus people may have the opportunity of earning something by running their omnibuses along the routes they have already run along?

Colonel ASHLEY

I quite appreciate that point of my hon. and gallant Friend, but may I tell him this, that the London Advisory Committee sat yesterday from three o'clock until half-past nine in the evening to consider these cases; and it is sitting every day this week for important matters of the kind.


Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman see that these cases have sympathetic consideration?

Captain FRASER

Will the Minister especially consider the case of unemployment in connection with this matter, and so take that wider view of the question?

Colonel ASHLEY

All relevant considerations will be taken into account.