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Dispatch-Rider Letter Services

Volume 414: debated on Monday 15 October 1945

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asked the Prime Minister how many men and vehicles are now employed in the dispatch-rider letter service in Britain and at what cost; what is the average weekly mileage; and, as their purpose could now be equally well served by the postal and telegraph system, when this service will be discontinued.

The dispatch-rider letter service is more speedy than the present postal system. It is used in conjunction with the telegraph system for particularly urgent correspondence. The future of the Royal Navy services, which is a very small proportion of the whole, is now under consideration. Reduction of the Army services is taking place progressively, and it is estimated that all will have been discontinued by May, 1946, except for a minimum retained for driver training. The Royal Air Force service is being disbanded on 15th October. About 1,360 personnel and 1,000 vehicles (including motor-cycles) have been employed by the three Services. The total cost, at a very rough estimate, has been between £450,000 and £500,000 a year, including cost of personnel. The weekly mileage covered has been some 280,000.