HC Deb 23 July 1941 vol 373 cc902-3W
Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply (1) whether he is aware that, as a result of the directions of a Royal ordnance factory traffic controller, the transport arrangements for workers from a certain place have been wholly altered, with the result that some men cannot go to work at all, others fail to get to work on odd days, and as many as 64 workers have (o crowd into a 32-seater omnibus, and, in order to perform an eight-hour day, they are away from home for 11 hours 40 minutes, although the factory is only some 14 miles away; and what steps he proposes to take;

(2)whether he is aware that the system of transport of munition workers to a Royal ordnance factory is wholly unsatisfactory, that as many as 64 workers crowd into a 32- seater omnibus, and that men are unable to proceed to work on account of the transport arrangements; and whether he will take the necessary steps?

Mr. Harold Macmillan

In consultation with the workers' representatives and the regional transport commissioner of the Ministry of War Transport, revised services were recently- introduced from a particular area to the Royal ordnance factory in question, using one railway train instead of a large number of buses. The object was to shorten travelling times, to effect economy in transport and to permit of recruitment of labour in a wider area. The new service benefits a considerable body of workpeople, but involves cutting out temporarily a rail service from one town and conveying workers by a feeder bus service to the railhead. As recruitment grows, it is hoped to provide a direct train from the particular place with consequent reduction in travelling time. I have no knowledge of the workers stated to be unable to get to work. If particulars are furnished, I will have the circumstances examined. I understand that 64 workers were accommodated in a 32-seater omnibus, but on one occasion only. That vehicle was operated by a local authority, which should have provided two vehicles, but one broke down and a substitute was not available at short notice.

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