HC Deb 07 November 1934 vol 293 cc1031-2
56. Mr. MACLAY

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the fact that persons travelling on the main railway systems of this country with workers' tickets, cheap week-end or summer tickets, have no claim in respect of damages to them through negligent acts of the railway company or its employés, and in view of the fact that a large percentage of passengers carried, including Members of Parliament, on summer tickets have no knowledge of such conditions, he will take steps to have the law altered or require that the railway companies give greater publicity to these conditions?


There is nothing to prevent railway companies and their passengers from entering into special contracts which relieve the companies of their liabilities in consideration of a reduction in fares. I am, however, informed that summer tickets are issued on the same conditions as to liability as ordinary tickets.


In view of the large number of people travelling on workers' and week-end tickets, does the Minister not consider that the time has now come to alter the law regarding the contracting out of liability and, if he does not think the time is appropriate, will he urge the railway companies to state clearly upon the tickets that they have contracted out of liability?


I have the greatest sympathy with what the hon. Member suggests. I was a little embarrassed to know whether he wished me to change the law or to ask the railway companies to make the provision better known. After consideration, if he will tell me which course he prefers, I will with pleasure consider his suggestion.


Will my hon. Friend bear" in mind, too, that a large amount of this traffic owned or part owned by railway companies and corporations is now borne on the roadways and the effect is precisely the same, as explained in the question, to the road-borne and to the rail traffic?


I will study my hon. Friend's supplementary question and, when I see what it means, I will try to answer it.