§ 72. Viscount Hinchingbrooke
asked the Minister of War Transport whether he is aware that many trains arrive up to two hours later than their scheduled times in spite of clear weather; and what steps are being taken consistent with safety to improve time keeping.
§ Mr. Barnes
During the four weeks ended nth November, 62 long distance trains out of a total of nearly 30,000 arrived at London termini two hours or more late. The late arrival of 2I of the 62 trains was due directly or indirectly to mishaps and three were delayed awaiting overseas leave parties. Every effort is being made by the railway companies to maintain the punctuality of trains, and it is expected that the general time keeping will gradually improve as more labour and rolling stock becomes available.
§ Mr. Walkden
Is not the Minister aware that when you go on the up journey to Doncaster, trains are on time, but between Doncaster and King's Cross they lose an hour every day, and can he explain why that is so?
§ Mr. John Lewis
Is the Minister aware that the 9.45 train from Manchester this morning was held up outside Euston for half an hour, and is there any reason for this?
§ Colonel Oliver Stanley
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Government control the railways of this country?
§ Mr. Barnes
As a matter of fact, as my right hon. and gallant Friend is aware, the ordinary railway administration is not affected at the present moment. Perhaps in the near future it may be.
§ 73. Mr. Peart
asked the Minister of War Transport if he is aware of the inconvenience caused to West Cumberland workers returning on the 6.18 p.m. train from Carlisle, by the railway company's practice of attaching vans for shunting at intermediate stations, thus creating considerable delay in their arrival home; and what steps he is prepared to take.
§ Mr. Barnes
I am informed that the daily average delay in the arrival of this train at Whitehaven between 22nd October and 14th November was 13 minutes, of which four minutes was due to the need to attach a van for Naval purposes at Workington. The attachment of this van was discontinued as from Monday, 12th November, and I am informed that, apart from horse boxes which are attached to the train on monthly sale days, vans are now attached to the train only on rare occasions The situation will be further reviewed.
§ 78. Lieutenant Skeffington-Lodge
asked the Minister of War Transport whether he is aware of the inadequacy, unpunctuality and slowness of the train service between London, St. Pancras and Bedford, Midland Road; and whether, owing to the fact that previous representations to the L.M. & S. Railway Company have had little effect, he will take steps to see that a real improvement is brought about at the earliest possible moment.