§ 2. Mr. Corbyn
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with London Transport on future ticketing arrangements.
§ The Minister for Transport in London (Mr. Steve Norris)
Ticketing arrangements are generally an operational matter for London Transport, but I discuss developments with the chairman and others from time to time.
§ Mr. Corbyn
In response to that rather blank reply, will the Minister confirm or deny reports that the travelcard will be either made into a smart electronic card, or phased out in favour of a unit ticketing arrangement, whereby people will be able to travel only on a season ticket, with clipping-off for each journey that they 4 undertake? That will vastly increase the cost of transport in London, which is already the most expensive public transport in Europe.
§ Sir Michael Neubert
When my hon. Friend discusses ticketing arrangements with London Transport, will he press on it the principle of having through ticketing on a River Thames passenger service, because a travelcard facility will be essential to the success of such a service, which we hope will be established before not too long?
§ Mr. Norris
I welcome my hon. Friend's constructive intervention on the subject of the travelcard, which is an essential part of the framework of public transport services in London. There is no question about its continued survival. I hope that my hon. Friend will appreciate that the issue of integrating a river service into the travelcard raises a number of issues, and that I am not able to give him an outright assurance to that effect today. We are always willing, however, to consider propositions for the promotion of river services on the Thames. If such a proposition were put to me, I would be happy to discuss it.