HL Deb 24 June 1947 vol 149 cc106-7

My Lords, I beg to ask the question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

[The question was as follows:

To ask His Majesty's Government, whether the war-time rule that, in cases when on trains there is no accommodation in third-class carriages, passengers may, with due regard for the prior claims of first-class ticket holders, occupy first-class seats, still holds good.]


Passengers holding third-class tickets may occupy seats in first-class compartments only with the express permission of a member of the railway company's staff. The instruction on this matter to the staff, which is still in force, is that when the third-class accommodation on a train is seriously overcrowded they may permit holders of third-class tickets to occupy seats in first-class compartments without extra charge. But before giving such permission they must consider the needs of first-class passengers likely to join the train at subsequent stations who might thereby be deprived of seats. I would add that where first-class fares are advertised, the companies are under an obligation to provide suitable accommodation for first-class passengers.


Is the noble Lord aware that on some of the railways, notably the Southern line from Worthing, a first-class passenger who wants a seat goes to a third-class carriage every time; and that under the operation of this rule the privilege referred to is very much abused?


I am afraid I am not aware of details of that kind, but if the noble Earl will let me have particulars I will have the matter looked into.