HC Deb 04 May 1925 vol 183 cc595-6
87. Mr. GROVES

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the continuance of overcrowding on the underground railways between the hours of 7.30 to 9.30 a.m., and 5 to 7.30 p.m., involving considerable inconvenience and risk to the travelling public; and whether he will take the necessary steps to ensure the provision of greater accommodation?

The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Colonel Ashley)

I am aware that on some sections of the underground railways some overcrowding takes place during the hours mentioned, due to the fact that the peak load of morning and evening traffic is condensed in so short a space of time. The companies have informed me that they are making every endeavour to meet the situation by the provision of modern rolling stock and the acceleration of train services by an improved signalling system.


Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman not take some steps with regard to the recent change made by the railway companies, because that change interferes with the safety of the travelling public, inasmuch as many people crowd on to the platforms, which involves danger?

Colonel ASHLEY

The railway companies inform me that in their opinion it does not increase the danger in any way, but I will bring the hon. Member's remarks to their notice.


Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman, instead of resting content with the assurance of the companies that they are doing everything possible, make experiments himself.

Colonel ASHLEY

If the hon. and gallant Member will travel during these hours, he will see that the trains are running almost in constant succession. The companies are doing their very best to meet the convenience of the public.


Is it not true that the only proof is the number of accidents, and that the number of accidents on British railways is less comparatively than that recorded in any other place in the world?


In view of the large number of unemployed and the failure of thecompanies—not due to their fault—to meet the situation, should not many tubes be duplicated in order that some fast trains might run while the slow trains continued to be run as at present?

Colonel ASHLEY

I quite admit that the duplication of the system of tubes would help the situation very greatly, but as the hon. Member is aware, to duplicate the tubes would involve large cost, and is not a light matter.


It costs a lot of money to keep people doing nothing.