HC Deb 11 February 1946 vol 419 cc18-9
37. Mr. Driberg

asked the Minister of War Transport if he has considered the complaints concerning the train service between Liverpool Street and Witham, Essex, contained in a letter forwarded to him on 29th January by the honourable Member for Maldon; if he is aware that the service on this line has deteriorated in recent months; and what steps he is taking to improve it.

Mr. Barnes:

Yes, Sir; I regret the time-keeping of this service has deteriorated during the winter months. The principal causes have been shortage of experienced staff; poor performance of locomotives due to inadequate maintenance during the war years and inferior quality coal; speed restrictions due to permanent way repairs; and heavy passenger traffic necessitating longer stops at stations and the running of relief trains which at times impede the scheduled trains. I have been in consultation with the railway companies about train delays generally and they have assured me that they are taking all practicable steps within their power to secure improvements.

Mr. Driberg

Even allowing for all the causes of delay which my right hon. Friend has outlined, could he say whether he has considered the case of the particular train that I have brought to his notice? Why, if sometimes other trains can arrive punctually, should one important train, bringing large numbers of passengers to work in London daily, always be late?

Mr. Barnes

These are some of the points which I have recently represented to the railway managers, and these and other matters are now being carefully examined