HC Deb 08 February 1956 vol 548 cc1656-7
10. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether, in order to reduce traffic congestion, he will ban the use of private cars in central London during the rush hours.

Mr. Watkinson

No, Sir. I am all too well aware of the congestion in central London caused by the influx of private cars, but I believe that there are other and fairer methods of controlling it than by complete prohibition. I am at the moment engaged in an intensive study of possible methods of attack.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

If, as may be the case, those alternative methods prove unsuccessful, or are not carried out, will, the Minister bear in mind that about 10 million people use the London buses daily, largely in order to get to and from work? Does he not agree that if it is a question of giving priority, then people travelling to and from work on the buses should have absolute priority over private car owners?

Mr. Watkinson

We had better try my other methods first.

Captain Pilkington

Will my right hon. Friend try to get greater facilities for parking and garaging under existing buildings?

Mr. Ernest Davies

Would not one of the alternative methods be that of introducing a system of staggering hours so that the large number of extra buses which have to be introduced at peak times can be reduced?

Mr. Watkinson

There I quite agree.