HC Deb 27 February 1945 vol 408 cc1262-3W
Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport if he can set out in tabular form the savings made by war-time road transport organisation; the benefits derived from the clearing centres; and any other figures that will enable the House to measure the value of organisation.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Figures of the pre-war operation of road haulage are not available and the need for economising in staff has kept to a minimum the statistical records of the Road Haulage Organisation. It is not therefore possible to give any complete statistical comparison such as my hon. Friend desires.

Among the advantages secured are:

  1. (i) economies in the use of fuel and rubber: sample checks in 1943 showed that fuel economies of the order of 25 to 30 per cent. on pre-control fuel consumption were effected;
  2. (ii) the fullest possible loading compatible with the use of road vehicles as a reserve for other forms of transport. Unit Controllers are advised in advance of all arrivals of loaded vehicles, so that these vehicles may be loaded back in preference to outleading by other vehicles. A sample analysis in 1944 showed a loaded mileage of about 80 per cent. as compared with a general pre-war level estimated at 70 per cent. or less;
  3. (iii) the controls at area, divisional and national levels enable local surpluses of vehicles or traffic to be balanced, and vehicles to be rapidly mobilised to meet emergencies;
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  5. (iv) the control of road transport provided by the Organisation has enabled traffic to be allocated between the different forms of transport so as to ensure the best provision for the clearance of ports and for affording relief to the railways at points of congestion;
  6. (v) the Road Haulage Organisation relieves-Government Departments of much of the work of arranging for their own transport and eliminates competition between them.

The scale of the Organisation's activities is shown by the following figures:

(a) Tonnage handled during 1944
Approximate Tons
Long Distance (including Government traffic) Million 11
Other Government Traffic
General 16.2
Opencast Coal 8
Meat 3.6
Other Commercial Traffic 15
Total 53.8

In addition 4,685,489 head of livestock were carried.

(b) Tonnage carried during a specimen period of four weeks in November, 1944.