HC Deb 25 November 1931 vol 260 cc393-6
33. Major-General Sir ALFRED KNOX

asked the Minister of Transport if, in view of the fact that owing to the refusal of the traffic commissioner for the southern area, supported on appeal by the Ministry of Transport, of a licence to the Premier line of omnibuses to run a service from Maidenhead Bridge to Windsor Hospital, many residents in the growing district of Cippenham are only able to reach Slough by making long detours and at increased expense, he will have further inquiries made into the matter?


On the 13th August last, my predecessor, on appeal, upheld the traffic commissioners for the southern area in their refusal to grant an application by the Premier Line, Limited, for a road service licence in respect of a service between Maidenhead Bridge and Windsor. Since that date the company have made a further application for a licence in respect of this service, which the commissioners have refused. The company have exercised their right of appeal to me in this matter, and that appeal is under consideration.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this is not an isolated case, but that in many villages all over the country the same thing is happening, and village services are going out altogether on account of the Order which has been made by his Department?


Will the hon. Gentleman take into consideration the case of this village of Cippenham, which has 3,000 inhabitants who are absolutely cut off from Slough and Maidenhead except at a cost of 6d., whereas the Premier omnibus service was giving a 10-minute service at a cost of ld; and is he aware that a state of great discontent exists about the matter?


This matter is now the subject of an appeal to me, and it would be improper for me to discuss it across the Floor of the House.


Is there not some means of countering this Socialistic measure?

34. Sir A. KNOX

asked the Minister of Transport on what grounds the Traffic Commissioner for the southern area has refused the application of Mr. A. E. Warwick to continue his service of motor-omnibuses from Farnham Common to Windsor, since this working man was the first to establish a through service on this route, and his service had given general satisfaction and had four months' priority to the Owen omnibus service, six months' priority to the Amersham and District Traction Company, and 12 months' priority to the London General Omnibus Company, to all of whom licences have been granted?


The Traffic Commissioners' decision in this case was to grant a licence for a service between Farnham Common and Slough. The matter was the subject of an appeal to me, and, in their observations on the appeal, which were communicated to the appellant, the Commissioners expressed the view on the merits of the service that, while a service between Farnham Common and Slough was reasonable, any extension beyond Slough was not necessary and not required by the public. They also stated that the road between Slough and Windsor was congested and amply served by other companies. I fail to understand the relevance of the reference to two of the three companies mentioned in the latter part of the question, seeing that the grounds given by the appellant for his appeal make it clear that the through service supplied by the Amersham and District Traction Company between High Wycombe and Windsor, passing through Farnham Common, is the only one covering the route applied for by Mr. Warwick.


Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind, in considering these appeals, the fact that many of these businesses which are now being carried on are the property of ex-service men, who have sunk the whole of their savings in them?


I am devoting a great amount of time to the examination of these appeals, and I assure the House that I am not overlooking the cases of the small or ex-service men.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Mr. Warwick is an ex service man, that he was the first on this route, that he has put all his little capital into this business, and that he is only a working man and will be absolutely ruined by this decision?


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that thousands of ex-service men in London are being sent to penal colonies—




Mr. Anstruther-Gray.