HC Deb 23 July 1941 vol 373 cc867-8
17. Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether he is aware that a luxury coach service operates from London to South Wales twice per day; that this service is sometimes duplicated and triplicated; that it runs almost parallel to the railway passenger service; and whether in view of the inadequate omnibus transport for munition workers, he will terminate this extravagant use of national resources?

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport (Colonel Llewellin)

I cannot identify the particular service to which my hon. Friend refers, but the Regional Transport Commissioner for the South Western Region reports that he has authorised a limited service from Cheltenham to Swansea and Treherbert which makes connections with London coaches. He has satisfied himself that the majority of persons carried are intermediate passengers making cross-country journeys which could not be effected by rail without great difficulty.

Mr. Edwards

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that a substantial number of people who have been evacuated from London to South Wales use this service in order to come back to London because it is so cheap?

Colonel Llewellin

I am not aware of that, but I think we have to keep some of these cross-country services going. They are running at only one-quarter of what they were in pre-war days.

Mr. Mainwaring

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware of the astounding nature of his Reply that it is necessary to run a cross-country service from Swansea and Treherbert to Gloucester because people cannot travel any other way? Is he aware that workmen are idle because they cannot be conveyed to available employment owing to lack of buses in that area?

Colonel Llewellin

I would not like to say that there is a failure of transport in South Wales. We know that transport is difficult in those valleys, but I would like any particular instances to be brought to my personal attention.