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Passenger Services

Volume 439: debated on Monday 30 June 1947

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asked the Minister of Transport why, as from 16th June, 1947, the 2.50 p.m. train from Euston to Manchester only runs on Fridays and Saturdays.

The withdrawal of this train from Monday to Thursday is part of the 10 per cent. reduction in scheduled passenger train mileage this summer.


asked the Minister of Transport if he will give an estimate of the percentage of the fuel previously used for the whole service which would be consumed if the first two and last two daily passenger trains on the L.M.S. Stonehouse—Stroud—Nailsworth branch line were restored and driven by the engine normally kept in steam for the goods services on this line.

The engine used for the goods services is not available to haul these trains. Their restoration would reduce the coal saving by 44 per cent.


asked the Minister of Transport how many passengers travelled on the last train to run on the L.M.S. Stonehouse—Stroud—Nailsworth branch line before the service was suspended; how many passengers got off at Stone-house from the main line up train on 7th June and how many of these proceeded by the 7.52 p.m. branch train to Stroud and Nailsworth; what was the average number of passengers travelling on the first two trains from Nailsworth and the last two from Stonehouse over the most recent month; and how many passengers travelled on the last excursion train to be run on this branch.

Following is the answer: The number of passengers who travelled by the 7.52 p.m. train from Stonehouse to Stroud and Nailsworth on the last day it ran is not known, but during a test week in November last the average peak loading was 14 passengers, the highest was 20, and the lowest was 5. Subsequent observation suggests that loadings remained at about this average. This train connects at Stonehouse with the 6.25 p.m. Bristol to Worcester and the 6.25 p.m. Worcester to Bristol. On 5th, 6th and 7th June, 6,8 and 32 passengers respectively joined it from these main line trains. During the week ended 2nd November, 1946, the average peak loadings of the first two trains from Nails-worth, the 6.18 a.m. and the 7.25 a.m. via Stroud, were 8 and 18 respectively. During the same week the average peak loadings of the last two evening trains from Stonehouse, the 6.30 p.m. and the 7.52 p.m., were 18 and 14 respectively. No excursion train has been run from the branch since before the war, but on 12th September last, through day excursion bookings from the branch line to Weston-super-Mare were given. No excursion bookings have been given since that day; loading figures are not available.


asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the inconvenience caused to people living in East Dorset, especially business men, by the cancellation of the 6.30 p.m. train from Waterloo; and if he will arrange for it to be reinstated.

No; the withdrawal of this train, which was the least heavily loaded of the morning and evening group of trains from Waterloo to Bournemouth and Weymouth, was a part of the 10 per cent. reduction in passenger services to save coal during the summer.


asked the Minister of Transport why the 10 p.m. train from Waverley to King's Cross, and the 10.15 p.m. train from King's Cross to Waverley, do not now stop at Dunbar and Drew, respectively; and if he will reinstitute the long-established practice of these trains stopping at Dunbar and Draw, as formerly.

A recent census showed that the number of passengers using these stops is small, and the railway company considers that the increase in journey time caused to these important and heavily loaded expresses by the stops can no longer be justified.

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that there has been a 100 per cent. suspension of passenger services on the Stonehouse-Stroud-Nailsworth L.M.S. branch line, where 36 trains a week from Stroud and 42 from Nailsworth gave direct connections to Bristol; that this causes great hardship to travellers from these valleys to Bristol and Birmingham, as alternative omnibus services are inadequate, ill-arranged and involve long walks with luggage; and whether he will restore the first two and last two trains each day.

I am advised that the alternative services are adequate, and I cannot agree to a restoration of passenger train services on this branch. I will, however, inquire into any particular difficulties on the 'bus services which my hon. Friend cares to bring to my notice.