HC Deb 13 April 1920 vol 127 cc1514-5W

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that the goods agent at Holbeach station has been refusing to accept transit of fertilisers to that station from Bradford, and at a later date permitted only such limited quantities as he thought fit, without reference to the requirements of the farmers; whether he realises that, in principle, the effect of such obstruction of transit is to deny to farmers their right to determine for themselves the quantity of fertilisers their farms require; whether he will cause such unnecessary obstruction to traffic to cease forthwith; and upon what authority, statutory or otherwise, such actions are founded?


I have had inquiries made and am informed that the traffic in question was consigned to "wait order." In order to prevent congestion and undue detention of wagons the railway companies have adopted a rule that traffic of this nature is not to be accepted for conveyance until the goods agent at the receiving station has in his possession instructions for its disposal. I am satisfied that this rule is necessary in the interests of traffic and causes no undue disadvantage to traders. In this case there was no undue delay in the acceptance of the traffic; but on the other hand, notwithstanding the precautions taken, the four wagons in which it was conveyed suffered a total detention of 12 days after arrival. The reasonable facilities which the railway companies are under statutory obligation to afford do not include the provision of wagons for storage, and I do not see my way to give any directons which would result in the wasteful user of wagons at the present time.