HC Deb 10 November 1954 vol 532 cc1179-80
22. Mr. Warbey

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he will introduce legislation fixing the maximum fares to be charged on passenger transport services to children up to the age of 16 years, receiving full-time education, at half the rate for adults.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, Sir.

Mr. Warbey

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a large number of transport undertakings in my constituency and elsewhere have not brought their fares policy into line with the raising of the school-leaving age? Since one Government Department has determined that parents must send their children to school up to the age of 15 years, and in some cases 16 years, could not the other Department determine that they should have the benefit of reduced fares?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Under existing legislation, concessions are for the operators to make. At the next stage comes the approval of the licensing authority, and I only come in on appeal if there is disagreement. I do not think that this is a matter for new legislation.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Need the Minister be quite so modest? If he indicates to the licensing authorities that it is the opinion of the House that fares for children under 15 years should be half fares, would not the licensing authorities act accordingly? Cannot the Minister look into the matter? It is rather serious.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The Question relates to children up to the age of 16 years and rather different problems arise.

Mr. John MacLeod

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this is a great hardship to people who have families and want their children to return for holidays to remote areas such as the North of Scotland?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

It would clearly be of advantage to many people concerned to pay reduced fares in respect of older children, but I am not sure that it is the right thing to put this liability on transport operators, public or private.

24. Sir R. Acland

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he will publish a list showing which major road transport undertakings grant, and which do not grant, reduced fare rates to children up to 15 years of age when travelling to and from school.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The information is not readily available and will take some time to collect, but I will write to the hon. Baronet when I have done so.