§ 52 Mr. COLMAN
asked the Minister of Transport (1) whether, before bringing into effect the proposed regulations for restricting motor coaches in Central London, he will consider the advisability of such alternative methods of improving the traffic flow as the widening of certain streets, the reorganisation of Covent Garden Market, and the restriction of short-stage omnibus services at slack periods of the day;
(2) whether the London Traffic Advisory Committee has received any specific complaints as to the congestion caused by motor coaches in London; and, if so, from what sources these complaints emanated;
(3) whether, with regard to the proposed regulations restricting the use of motor coaches in Central London, it is intended to deal only with the coaches of those companies which have been in 967 existence since a certain date or with coaches which perform a particular type of service?
§ Mr. HERBERT MORRISON
Before making any regulations which would have the effect of restricting the operation of motor coaches within the central area of London, I will carefully consider all representations received within the statutory period of 40 days which must elapse after the publication of the draft regulations. This statutory period expires to-day, and the suggestions which the hon. Member has been good enough to make will be borne in mind. Specific complaints as to the congestion caused by motor coaches have been received from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as well as from private individuals. No distinction is made in the draft regulations between companies which have been in existence since a certain dale and other companies. The Draft Regulations apply generally to public service vehicles other than contract carriages or stage carriages plying for hire by short stages as defined in the Road Traffic Act, 1930.
§ Mr. COLMAN
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if his attention has been called to the large number of half-empty motor omnibuses to be seen at certain hours of the day in the West End of London; and if he will give special consideration to the advisability of further restricting those services rather than penalising services such as the motor coaches, which the public have shown that they appreciate and desire, and which bring a great deal of money to London? I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman—
§ Mr. MORRISON
Partly, that is the case, and I have no doubt the policy which we are pursuing will encourage that to be done. With regard to the point of the hon. Member for Brixton (Mr. Colman), I do not know that it is directly related to the particular problem which I have to meet, namely, the tendency for an ever-increasing number 968 of long-distance motor coaches to come in and congest the central area.
§ Mr. MUGGERIDGE
Will the Minister collect statistics as to the relative number of accidents due to this kind of traffic, namely, coaches, as compared with other traffic, before he makes decisions?
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
Has the right hon. Gentleman considered the number of motor enterprises which would be ruined by this proposal?