HC Deb 29 March 1933 vol 276 cc995-6
19 and 20. Lieut.-Colonel Sir VIVIAN HENDERSON

asked the Minister of Transport (1) if he will state on what grounds the eastern traffic commissioners imposed a minimum fare of sixpence on Messrs. Hillman's omnibus services between Chelmsford, Brentwood, and Romford as from the 3rd April; and on what grounds this decision was upheld on appeal;

(2) if he will state what steps he, or the eastern traffic commissioners, are taking to ensure that an adequate service of short-stage motor coaches, at fares below sixpence, is available to the public on and after the 3rd April between Chelmsford and the intervening villages to Brentwood and Romford?


The grounds on which the traffic commissioners reached their decision were set out in their observations on Messrs. Hillman's appeal and were circulated to the parties concerned. I am forwarding a copy of these observations to my hon. and gallant Friend. My predecessor, after careful inquiry into the appeal, saw no sufficient reason for reversing their decision. In announcing his decision he expressed the opinion as regards these services that passengers wishing to travel short distances only should be carried by regular short-stage services and that if any additional facilities are required for such passengers they should be provided by the strengthening of those services. The commissioners have recently considered applications for the strengthening of the short-stage services between Chelmsford, Brentwood and Romford, and gave a preliminary decision in the matter on 24th March. On the same day they informed the parties concerned that they would not enforce compliance with the condition as to minimum fares on Messrs. Hillman's services until it had been found possible to commence additional short-stage services on the lines set out in that preliminary decision.


Is the Minister aware that the majority of people who use these omnibuses are small wage earners and working people who can ill afford any increase of their fares, and that there is strong local feeling that the objections put forward both by the public and by the local councils have not been sufficiently considered?


My hon. Friend will appreciate that the increase of fares in this particular service will not come into force until the Commissioners are satisfied that alternative services have been provided.