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London-Aberdeen Service (Restaurant Cars)

Volume 411: debated on Wednesday 6 June 1945

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether, in view of the fact that the journey between London and Aberdeen takes between13 and 14 hours, he can now cancel his instructions to the railway companies and so enable them to provide restaurant or buffet car facilities on that route.

The provision of restaurant or buffet car facilities reduces the number of seats that can be provided. Passenger services are likely to be heavily loaded for some time to come, and I regret that I am unable to say when it will be possible to provide these facilities on the journey between London and Aberdeen.

Could not my hon. Friend leave it to the railway companies? If he would remove his restrictions, there would be only one obstacle, and the railway companies could run these facilities if they were able to do so.

I have had special inquiry made into this matter recently, and I understand that the introduction of restaurant cars would reduce the seating accommodation, both because they cannot take so many people, and also because of the weight involved. However, I am keeping this matter in view, and if anything can be done I will do it.

Does not my hon. Friend think it is more important that there should be more sleeping cars rather than restaurant cars on the trains to Aberdeen?

I am, of course, aware of the limitations of transport in all directions. Restaurant cars cannot be provided as long as there is a shortage of seating accommodation.

Would it not be a good idea to advise the railway companies that John Citizen should have a chance of getting a seat for the ticket he buys?