HC Deb 30 March 1960 vol 620 cc1311-2
33. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Transport what the result has been of the London Travel Committee's campaign to stagger working hours.

35. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Minister of Transport if he will make periodical statements about progress made by his Department and the London Travel Committee with the staggering of working hours in Central London to relieve pressure on the Central Line and other parts of the London Transport system.

Mr. Marples

Since 1957 some 240 firms have made arrangements for staggering the hours of more than 32,000 staff. To this the London Travel Committee has made a substantial contribution, and its campaign continues. I will, when appropriate, make further statements about the progress of its efforts.

Mr. Lipton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the London Travel Committee, one of the many committees with which the Minister surrounds himself, has been engaged in this campaign for two years and that 30,000 out of the 1,100,000 people who pour into London daily is a very small percentage? Will he try to get something done about it before I become too pessimistic about him altogether?

Mr. Marples

Nothing would grieve me more than that the hon. Member should become pessimistic. It must be remembered that there is no quick method of implementing the staggering of hours. Schemes must be worked out on a local basis. We cannot dictate to people or force them to stagger hours. If we could dictate to them it would be much easier, but in a democracy this problem is not very easy of solution.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many of my constituents and I myself suffer great hardship in travelling on the Central Line and that we should be grateful for and glad to hear about all the efforts which can be made to relieve the congestion?

Mr. Marples

I agree with my hon. Friend. The more we can do to try to get people to come to London over a longer period in the morning and to leave over a longer period in the evening, the better it will be far traffic.

Mr. Oram

Is the Minister aware that hon. Members representing constituencies east of London, no doubt including the hon. Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison), are constantly receiving complaints from their local authorities about deficiencies in the transport services in the area? Today I have received a further batch from the Town Clerk of Bast Ham. In considering the question of staggered hours, will the Minister also look at these complaints about the effectiveness of the service in that area?

Mr. Marples

If the hon. Member has received any specific complaint, perhaps he will send it to me and I will send it to the British Transport Commission for the Commission to consider.

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