HC Deb 17 July 1929 vol 230 cc430-1
68. Mr. ALBERY

asked the Minister of Transport in view of the growing importance of the ferry service between Graves end and Tilbury, if he will endeavour to secure better landing and loading facilities on the Gravesend side, especially as regards motor vehicles and goods; and whether, in view of the large and increasing number of workers who have to cross the river daily at this point, any steps can be taken to secure cheaper fares?


The London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company, to whom this ferry belongs, state that they have placed in commission during recent years two new ferry steamers specially adapted and equipped for the expeditious handling of motor vehicles, and I understand that in their view the present facilities are reasonably adequate for the traffic. Representatives of the Ministry recently made a local inspection of the ferry and its approaches, at which the possibility of improving the road approaches on the south side was discussed with representatives of the Gravesend Corporation and the railway company. I understand that the Corporation are now considering the matter, and when their proposals are received the question of the ferry facilities will be further considered. As regards the second part of the question, I am informed by the railway company that the present fares, which are in most cases below the statutory maximum, were last revised in 1923 and have since been reviewed on several occasions. The company do not consider that a further reduction of fares could be made at present.


When the hon. Member's representatives inspected the Gravesend side, did they also inspect the landing stage, which is quite inadequate as compared with those on the other side of the river, and will he again give consideration to the question of fares, in view of the large number of workmen who daily cross the ferry to earn their living?


I cannot at present give information in reply to the first part of the question. In regard to the second part, if representations were made to me, particularly from the local authorities concerned, I should be prepared to give them consideration.

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