HC Deb 13 November 1933 vol 281 cc568-9

asked the Minister of Transport whether there was any application from either local authorities or the public for an express service of coaches between Chelmsford, Brentwood, and London as well as the former intermediate service; whether he is aware that the express service to which Hillman's coaches have now been confined is not greatly used, and that this additional service adds to the congestion on the roads; and whether the decision in regard to the new arrangement of the coach service between Chelmsford, Brentwood, and London is for an indefinite period or can be reviewed on expiry of licences in 12 months' time or later?


So far as I am aware there has been no application by local authorities or the public for a service of express coaches between Chelmsford, Brentwood and London. As to the imposition of a minimum fare of 6d. on that service so that it. might fulfil the role of a limited stop service in the eastern area, I would refer my hon. and gallant friend to the first part of the answer which I gave to questions by him on 29th March last, of which I am sending him a copy.

In the Metropolitan Area the Commissioner decided to impose a minimum fare of 1s. which, on appeal, I reduced to 6d. When these decisions were made known, representations were made by local authorities and members of the public that there would be a lack of facilities for short stage passengers on this route, par- itularly between Chelmsford and Brentwood. The Commissioners thereupon made arrangements for the short stage services to be strengthened before the minimum fare became operative on the Hillman service. Road service licences have a maximum validity of 12 months, and the question whether a licence should again be granted and, if so, under what conditions, comes up for reconsideration by the Commissioners on each application for a new licence.


If the express service continues not to be patronised, does the Minister propose to continue it as well as the local service?


The hon. and gallant Gentleman is aware that it is not primarily a matter for me. No doubt application will be made to the Traffic Commissioners, and if any party is dissatisfied with their decision it will come to me on appeal.