HC Deb 04 April 1962 vol 657 cc454-6
41. Mr. Lubbock

asked the Minister of Transport what recommendations he has received from the Central Transport Consultative Committee regarding delays and overcrowding on the trains from Orpington to Cannon Street and Charing Cross; and what action he has taken.

Mr. Hay

None, Sir. I am told that the Consultative Committee for the London area have already decided to study passenger travel on the southeastern suburban lines of the Southern Region.

Mr. Lubbock

Would the Minister bear in mind, particularly in view of the reports which appeared in the evening papers yesterday to the effect that the Southern Region can foresee no improvement in the facilities over months or years to come, that much could be done without any improvement in the frequency but in the way of ensuring that trains have the correct number of cars on them and that the continual points failures to which we are subjected do not result in all these delays? Is he aware that it took me fifty minutes to get from Orpington to London Bridge yesterday?

Hon. Members


Mr. Holt

And a good one.

Mr. Lubbock

Is the Minister aware that there is very much to be done, apart from any improvement in the frequency of the services, to lessen the annoyance and irritation to passengers? —[Interruption.]

Mr. Fernyhough

Take your licking like men.

Mr. Speaker

Order, The profitability of Question Time is much increased if the Question is able to be heard.

Mr. Lubbock

There is much to be done to lessen the irritation and annoyance caused to passengers by delays, cancellations and overcrowding.

Mr. Hay

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will study what I said in my original Answer. Perhaps I may also tell him that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport is not responsible for matters of day-to-day management of the railways. Therefore, much as I regret to hear the information that he has now given to the House, I am afraid that my right hon. Friend has no direct responsibility.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Does my hon. Friend note that the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) draws attention to the overcrowding of the trains from Orpington? Does my hon. Friend think that there is a mass migration of residents from Orpington in the face of the Liberal menace?

Mr. Mellish

Is the Minister aware that on the Southern Region, which is by and large a very efficient part of the railway service, one of the biggest problems is the number of people trying to get on to the trains between the fatal hours of about 8.30 to 9.30? Will he ask the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) to do what he can, as the rest of us have been trying to do for a long while, to persuade employers to stagger the travel hours of their employees, with a view to having a more equitable service so that we can all travel in a little comfort?

Mr. Hay

My right hon. Friend and myself have frequently told the House how desirable it would be if travel hours could be staggered. We have done all we can to try to draw this to the attention of employers and employees. I should be very glad if the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) would raise this matter in his own constituency.

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