§ Mr. John Hall
asked the Postmaster-General what special circumstances cause the Reading telephone area to have more than double the national average percentage of total subscribers on the waiting list; what proportion of the requests for connection in that area are put in hand as soon as they are received; and what steps he is taking to reduce the waiting list.
§ Mr. Bevins
The figures reflect the high demand for telephones in an area bordering on London, where there is rapid industrial and residential development. Extensive additions to plant have been and are being made, and nearly 6,500 telephones have been fitted in the past 12 months. The waiting list percentage has been reduced from 3 per cent. to 2.6 per cent. in the same period. Further progress depends of course on the level of demand and the resources available. The connection of just over 80 per cent. of the applications is put in hand immediately on receipt.