HC Deb 16 March 1960 vol 619 c99W
Sir L. Ropner

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the coal mining industry is being seriously impeded by the continued shortage of railway wagons which is being accentuated by an accumulation of loaded wagons awaiting movement by the railways; and if he will give a general direction to the British Transport Commission to take immediate steps to increase the number of wagons.

Mr. Marples

I am aware that difficulties arose recently in the supply of empty wagons to collieries and opencast sites in certain parts of the country, particularly in the West and East Midlands and in Yorkshire. This was not due to any overall shortage of wagons but to difficulties in the movement of both loaded and empty wagons caused by shortages of staff.

I am not prepared to give a general direction to the British Transport Commission on this matter. The supply of wagons for general use or for any particular traffic or place is a matter of day-to-day management for which the Commission is responsible. The Commission is in close touch with the National Coal Board at both headquarters and district levels, and I understand from them that the difficulties have been substantially overcome.

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