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District Railway (Overcrowding)

Volume 439: debated on Monday 23 June 1947

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asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the extreme overcrowding which exists on District Railway trains between Barking and the City, especially during rush hours; whether he realises the danger to health of this overcrowding; and whether, as a first step, he will improve the ventilation of the railway carriages.

I am aware of the overcrowding that occurs at peak hours, but every available car is in service and no more trains can be run until the new rolling stock on order is delivered. In the meantime, an effective staggering of hours of work in the City and West End would give some relief. Ventilation is more satisfactory in the newer cars and in the cars on order, but the older types must continue to be used for the time being.

Could not something be done to improve the ventilation in the older cars? It seems to me that something is possible, because the conditions in these cars at the present time are really appalling.

I think that the London Passenger Transport Board are very well aware of the difficulty. I will have the matter re-examined again, though I feel that everything that can possibly be done has been done.