HC Deb 31 May 1938 vol 336 cc1848-9W
Colonel Baldwin-Webb

asked the Minister of Transport (1) whether he is aware of the indignation caused in the West Midland traffic area by the proposal of the Traffic Commissioners to enforce the proposal put forward by himself and the railway companies to reduce to three the age-limit for children at which free transport in public-service motor vehicles can be provided; and whether, in view of the special circumstances existing in the Birmingham area, he can issue revised instructions in this matter;

(2) whether he is aware that, according to the report of the chief constable of Birmingham, some 52,000 children travelled on public-service vehicles free of charge on Easter Monday in that area; and whether, in view of the hardship which would result from making it necessary to pay fares for a large proportion of these children, he will withdraw his instruction that the freedom from fares for children under five years of age must now be reduced to three years?

Mr. Burgin:

In certain cases which have come before me on appeal under Section 81 of the Road Traffic Act, 1930, have supported the contention that the maximum age for free travel of children on public-service vehicles should be uniform and should be three years. I understand that the Traffic Commissioners for the West Midland Traffic Area have recently proposed to revise the conditions of certain licences, but I do not know what decision they will reach; clearly I can make no useful statement as to the possible course of an appeal against a decision which has not yet been taken.