HC Deb 13 December 1948 vol 459 cc823-4
32. Mr. Driberg

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the continuing inadequacy of rural bus services in Essex and elsewhere; and what measures are being taken speedily to improve these services, by the provision of new vehicles or otherwise.

Mr. Barnes

Under present economic conditions the number of new buses which can be made available for the home market is limited. This necessarily restricts improvements in services throughout the country but if my hon. Friend will let me have particulars of any special case he has in mind I will make inquiries.

Mr. Driberg

Can my right hon. Friend say, first, why 200 new vehicles were recently diverted from provincial services to London, where there are, after all, alternative means of transport; and can he also say how the position now in rural Essex compares with that before the war, in the number of vehicles and in mileages?

Mr. Barnes

With reference to the transfer of 200 buses to London Transport, that, of course, is a matter for the British Transport Commission and the London Transport Executive. I would remind my hon. Friend that the need in London is very grave and very urgent, just as much so as in other parts of the country. I have not with me the figures for Essex, but I will forward to my hon. Friend the figures for the Maldon district and, if he requires them, the figures for Essex as a whole.

Mrs. Leah Manning

is my right hon. Friend aware that many villages in my division in Essex are completely isolated, without any service whatever; that I have bombarded him with questions on this matter ever since I have been the Member for the division and have not had one reasonable reply from him yet?

Mr. Barnes

I do not agree that Essex is badly served as compared with the rest of the country.

Mr. MacLeod

The Minister said that if the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr. Driberg) sent him particulars, he would look into them. Do I understand that he will ask bus manufacturers to give priority to any garage which wants to start a bus service and which. in his opinion, has a case?

Mr. Barnes

There will be no question of priority. I was offering to furnish my hon. Friend with information.

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