asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether he is aware that, in view of the restrictions imposed by railway authorities limiting the number of licensed taximeter-cabs permitted to ply for hire on railway property, members of the public and Armed Forces arriving at the principal railway stations in Manchester are subjected to unnecessary inconveniences, particularly during the hours of darkness, by having to carry luggage to taximeter-cab stands a considerable distance from the railway stations; and whether he will favourably consider suspending these restrictions during the present emergency?
I sympathise with the purpose of my hon. Friend's Question, but I am advised that the limitation on the number of taxi-cabs authorised to stand in the principal railway stations of Manchester was imposed in order to prevent the congestion of traffic, and that it is, therefore, in the interest both of the majority of the travelling public and of the railway administration.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that repeated representations have been made by the licensing authority for such accommodation? Are they not, in his view, better judges of what is needed for the convenience of the travelling public in Manchester than the railway companies, which are actuated by considerations of private profit?
No, Sir; with great respect, I do not think that that is the motive of the railway companies. These restrictions are also required to ensure the proper distribution of taxis throughout Manchester City. I think the restrictions have the support of most of the Manchester taxi drivers themselves.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that repeated representations have been made by the police authorities in Manchester?
No, Sir, I have no information to that effect. If the hon. Member will let me have such information, I will consider it.