HC Deb 24 January 1940 vol 356 cc571-2
41. Mr. Gordon Macdonald

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the lack of travelling facilities to the Royal Ordnance Factory at Euxton, Chorley, Lancashire, from the townships of Ashton-in-Makerfield, Ince, Orrell and the adjacent districts, are causing hardship to hundreds of workers; and whether he will take the steps necessary to bring an early and a substantial improvement in such facilities?

Captain Wallace

I understand that the Wigan Corporation provide a bus service from Ashton, Ince and Orrell to Wigan at a frequency of 7½ minutes and put on duplicate vehicles when necessary. The railway company provide a service from Wigan direct to the Royal Ordnance Factory Station. I have had no complaints about the lack of travelling facilities in these districts, but if the hon. Member will let me know more precisely in what respects the existing facilities are considered to be inadequate, I shall be glad to make inquiries.

Mr. Macdonald

Does the Minister of Transport think that for men to have to travel five hours every day six days in the week for the purpose of getting to and from their work is reasonable? Should not something be done to prevent it?

Captain Wallace

Perhaps the hon. Member will discuss this matter with me. On the information supplied to me I had no idea that men had to travel five hours each day in that district. It seems that the Wigan Corporation are providing a good bus service but I am most anxious to meet the situation in any reasonable way.

Mr. Tomlinson

Is the Minister aware that owing to the large number of men who have been taken on in this factory that within a radius of 20 miles more travelling facilities are needed, and will he be prepared to discuss the matter with hon. Members who represent constituencies within a radius of 20 miles and who have the same difficulties as the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. G. Macdonald)?

Captain Wallace

Certainly, I shall be very glad to do so.