HC Deb 13 February 1985 vol 73 cc452-3 11.41 pm
Mr. Don Dixon (Jarrow)

With your permission, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and that of the House, I beg leave to present a petition on behalf of the people of Jarrow regarding the White Paper on buses which is now enshrined in the Transport Bill which had its Second Reading this week. I am pleased that my hon. Friend the Member for Tyne Bridge (Mr. Cowans) is here, because both he and I have at many meetings pointed out the dangers in the recommendations of the White Paper.

This petition contains almost 2,000 signatures. The people are concerned that the recommendations in the White Paper, now enshrined in the Transport Bill, will affect them adversely. In my constituency of Jarrow we have miners not millionaires, engineers not racketeers, shipbuilders not shipowners. There is a very low car ownership. The people will be hit hard by the legislation. It is a pity the Government did not attack car owners for the £2,000 million which is alleged to have been lost to the Chancellor through evasion.

I pay tribute to Len Symes and Hugh Carlin who organised the papers for the people to come to sign. They did not even have to take the petition round, because the people were so concerned about how the legislation would affect them. In my constituency, one out of every two people relies on housing benefit and one out of every three is out of work.

The petition says: To the Honourable the Commons of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. The Humble Petition of the citizens of the Jarrow Constituency. SHEWETH That the proposals contained in the White Paper on Buses will have a detrimental effect on the residents of the Jarrow Constituency who use public transport, will put in jeopardy the Tyne and Wear integrated transport system known as one of the best transport systems in the world. Will put under threat the concessionary bus passes used by pensioners, disabled, unemployed and school children, and will cause further loss of jobs in the transport industry in an area of already high unemployment and will have a damaging effect on the wages and working conditions for those who are left in the transport industry. Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Transport not to put into effect the proposals of the White Paper on Buses. And your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. I beg leave to present the petition.

To lie upon the Table.