HC Deb 20 February 1957 vol 565 cc414-5
19. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will give an estimate as to what savings of fuel per week are being made by London Transport omnibuses as a whole now, resulting from reduced traffic, as compared with the period before fuel rationing.

Mr. Watkinson

I cannot say, because the saving in fuel from better traffic conditions cannot be separated from other effects of fuel rationing, such as heavier passenger loadings, concentration on peak services and reduction of off peak services.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

As the London Transport must be saving fuel at the present time and must, therefore, be saving money, will my right hon. Friend encourage London Transport to set aside the money so saved towards a reduction of fares in the future rather than an increase of wages?

Mr. Watkinson

My answer said that it was not possible to ascertain that fact.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Has the Minister overlooked the fact that there has been—and will he inform his hon. Friend that there has been—an increase in the price of petrol and also a shilling increase in the tax?

Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

Will my right hon. Friend be very careful that he does not break the golden rule set by all nationalised industries, which is to give the public worse service at increased cost?

Mr. Watkinson

I will be very careful, anyway.