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Co-ordinating London ' s

7th October 1930, Page 57
7th October 1930
Page 57
Page 57, 7th October 1930 — Co-ordinating London ' s
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Passenger-transport Services

IT is annotinced by the Minister of Transport that on two days last week he met in successive conferences representatives of the various bodies concerned with the provision of passenger transport in and around London. The bodies represented were the local authorities owning tramways in the London traffic area, the Underground group of railways, tramways and motorbu companies, the Metropolitan Railway, the Association of London Omnibus Proprietors, Thomas Tilling, Ltd., Tillings and British Automobile Traction Co., Ltd., and the four amalgamated railway companies.

Mr. Morrison stated that he had always felt there was an urgent need for a wide measure of coordination of the undertakings engaged in passenger transport in the London area. It had been recommended in various forms by successive commissions and committees which had considered the question of transport in London. This culminated in the report of the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee issued in 1927 and widely known as the Blue Report.

Comprehensive Control.

When he came to office the subject formed one of -his first preoccupations. The Government outlined• its policy on the subject in Parliament on December 2nd, 1929, and it now proposes to create a new statutory public body, which would embrace the railway, bus and tramway undertakings controlled by the Underground Electric Railway Co., the Metropolitan Railway and tramway undertakings owned by local authorities within the London area, and other motorbus undertakings therein. This new body would be charged with the future management, operation and maintenance of the consolidated undertaking and with the duty of making Provision for further facilities as and when required. It might be necessary or expedient to acquire other undertakings allied to those mentioned.'

As regards the suburban lines of the amalgamated railways, the Minister said that they are inextricably bound up with thefl main" lines, and there would be great difficulties in bringing them into the scheme of unified ownership, but arrangements should be made to enable these lines to play an important part in a fully correlated scheme of transport.

A Considered Step,.

The Government was not taking a leap in the dark. Already Parliament had recognized the necessity, in ninny cases, of entrusting essential national or local services to public bodies of this nature, such as the Port of London Authority, the Metropolitan Water Board and the Central Electricity Board.

Mr. Morrison said that he had given very careful consideration to the nature of the traffic authority. He started with a bias in favour of a joint municipal body representative of the local authorities in the area, but in the end he came to the conclusion that for this task it would not be the appropriate type of authority. If there had already been in existence a directly elected municipal body covering, a wide area the situation might have been different. , Every, effort would be made to secure the services of a chairman who wouldcombine business acumen and vigour-withwide knowledge and experience; and who could be trusted to ensure tlitit the appointment of officers of the Board would be governed by considerations of efficiency, and such as would command the confidence both of the investing public and of the users of transport. The Board should function as free as possible from political interference, so far as questions of management were concerned. .

Long,distanee Services.

' Provision "could be made "in the Bill for securing fair and 'proper treatment for officers' and •employees of the undertakings to be taken over. He was anticius to utilize the experience and abilities which now exist.

Long-distance road services

tween London• and provincial centres. would require to .be considered, .but only in so far as they might compete with, the services' provided by the Board, by picking up and setting down passengers 'Within a prescribed

distance of London. t

The new authority would have no tramway, tubeor bus bias. It would be able, as -no present undertaking could, to look at Londoia's PaSsenger

transport as a whole: • • ..

The Minister..inyited . the various authorities concerned to appoint representatives to continue discussions in detail.

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