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Parcels And Goods Service, North-Eastern Region

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1961

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26.

asked the Minister of Transport if he will give a general direction to the British Transport Commission to investigate the railway parcels and goods service and make a report to him.

No, Sir. This is not an appropriate subject for a general direction. Users who are dissatisfied with the Commission's services can make representations to the transport users' consultative committees.

Is the Minister not aware that users who are dissatisfied have been making representations in the North-Eastern Region for at least the past four years without getting any improvement in the services? Does he not know that British Railways in that region are facing great difficulty about staff, and so on, which is interfering with the efficient working of the service and that they cannot possibly get better staff unless better wages are paid? Why does not the Minister do something about that if he will not have an inquiry?

The question of wages is another subject. The Commission has said that in the three months ending 30th September the North-Eastern Region handled many hundreds of thousands of parcels but only 34 complaints of delays were received.

In such cases of delay, is it not useful to take up the matter with the general manager of the region concerned, from whom one might get more satisfaction than from any committee?

When there have been only 34 complaints from handling hundreds of thousands of parcels, it is straining one's imagination too much to believe that the service in the North-Eastern Region is inefficient.