Sir F. HALL
asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been drawn to the circular issued by the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee, dated the 27th February, in which it is indicated that a certain number of omnibuses operating within the Metro- 2624W politan police district are to be withdrawn; whether, in the event of it being found necessary to do this, a pro rata proportionate number of tramways will likewise be withdrawn from service; whether he is aware that in many cases omnibuses are owned by small proprietors, and if withdrawn from the district for which they have been licensed it would mean ruin to a number of small owners; and whether, in the circumstances, he will at once give instructions that no such Regulations shall be made?
§ Colonel ASHLEY
I have given notice to the proprietors operating omnibus services upon certain tramway routes that on and from specified dates the number of journeys which may be made by omnibuses plying for hire over these routes will be limited under the provisions of Section 7 of the London Traffic Act, 1924. I have no power to limit the number of tramcar journeys. As my hon. and gallant Friend is aware, all tramway undertakings are worked under statutory authority. The London Traffic Advisory Committee have, with my approval, suggested to all the omnibus proprietors operating services in the Metropolitan police district that they should themselves set up a voluntary fund from which compensation could be paid in respect of omnibuses withdrawn from service in the area as a result of these restrictions.
§ Mr. PALIN
asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the fact that a condition was attached to the licence granted to tramway undertakings requiring them to contribute to the cost of adapting, altering, or reconstructing any road over which they operate, it is intended to attach any such condition to licences granted to motor omnibus companies?
§ Colonel ASHLEY
I am not aware that any such condition of the nature indicated is attached to licences issued in respect of tramcars, but in some cases obligations of a special character are imposed by local Acts authorising tramway undertakings. As the hon. Member is aware, the excise licence duties payable by motor omnibuses accrue to the Road Fund, and are in effect a contribution to the cost of road maintenance and improvement.