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Buses (Standing Passengers)

Volume 464: debated on Monday 2 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Transport what alterations he intends to authorise in the number of people permitted to stand in buses in the Metropolitan area.

The order governing the carriage of standing passengers in public service vehicles applies to the whole country and is permissive. It is for agreement between the London Transport Executive and the Union what arrangements within the terms of the order shall apply in London. I have so far received no representations asking that the order should be varied.

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that, before consenting to any further alteration, he will satisfy himself that grave hardship would not be caused to a very large number of people who travel in these vehicles during the rush hours in the Metropolitan area?

I have already indicated in my reply that the order, in the first instance, is permissive, and that I must await the negotiations, if they take place, between the two bodies to which I have referred.

Is the Minister aware that a certain minority of bus conductors seem to take a delight in keeping people off their buses, and could something be done to bring home to this minority the fact that they are paid for conveying the public, and not for leaving them standing on the pavement?

I do not know whether the hon. and gallant Gentleman is making a general allegation regarding the whole country or is referring only to the London Transport area, which is largely involved here. If the latter, I am sure that representations to the London Transport Executive would receive proper consideration, and that the unions and the men themselves would not endorse a policy of that kind.

Would the Minister consider appointing a consumers' council of users of Government transport and getting their views?

As a matter of fact, the reply to one Question today will indicate that steps are being taken to establish one in London.