§ Mr.G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been drawn to the statement of the Director-General of Traffic respecting the Ducane Road Hospital, Shepherd's Bush, and the position of the platforms Bush, and the position of the platforms on the Central London system; whether 414W this statement was drafted in the Ministry of Transport and, if so, who is the official responsible for it; whether at the point suggested by Captain Scott Moncrieff for a temporary station the gradient changes from 1 in 54 to 1 in 330; and, if a temporary station can properly be constructed at this point, on what grounds he justifies the present service of empty trains between Wood Lane and Ealing Broadway?
§ Mr. NEAL
The letter written by Captain Scott Moncrieff which appeared in the "Times" on the 28th October was the first intimation I had of any application for a platform opposite the Ducane Road Hospital, and I caused inquiry to be made by the Director-General of Traffic in this Ministry, and at my request he communicated to the Press the result of this inquiry. At the point at which it is suggested that the platform should be provided the lines cross thus, necessitating a falling gradient of 1 in 54 on one line and a rising gradient of 1 in 108 on the other. It is true that the falling gradient changes from 1 in 54 to 1 in 330 eastward of the point suggested for the platform, but the provision of a station on this easier gradient would involve a difficult and lengthy approach with a large number of steps. The rising gradient of 1 in 108, which presents difficulties in working, exists for about three-eighths of a mile on each side of the proposed site. Owing to the circumstances explained, the provision of platforms in the vicinity suggested would involve an expenditure both in capital cost of construction and in operating costs far in excess of what would apparently be justified, and in the present need of rigid economy I am not prepared to advocate the provision of platforms. East Acton Station, which is close to the hospital, was built at that point at the request of the County Council, it being their opinion and the opinion of the railway company that that was the most suitable point to serve the need of the district, and there does not appear to be justification for another station between East Acton and Wood Lane.