§ Sir ARTHUR GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether has is aware that the London County Council, in April, 1909, asked the Board of Trade for permission to run coupled tramcars to enable it to cope with the heavy tramway traffic on the tramways during the busiest hours of the morning and evening; that the Board agreed, in January, 1910, to the experimental use of single-deck cars on the Euston to Hampstead tramway route, subject to their not being run between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.; that the Board, in July, 1911, further restricted its consent by limiting the running of the cars to the hours between 7 and 9 in the morning and after 7 in the evening; that the Board has declined to allow double-deck cars to be used as coupled cars on any suitable routes, and has also declined to agree to smoking being permitted in one of the single-deck coupled cars; whether he is aware that 665 coupled or trailer cars are extensively used on tramways in Europe and America; and whether the President is now prepared to grant fuller facilities to the Council to carry out this system in order that the congestion of traffic may be relieved, and workpeople may be able to get more expeditiously to and from their work?
The facts are mainly as stated by the hon. Member. In the special circumstances of London traffic it appeared to the Board of Trade that before the question of any general permission to use coupled tramcars could be considered some experience of their use should be obtained, and an experimental service was permitted, after consultation with the Chief Commissioner of Police, and restricted to hours fixed upon representations made by him. The police, as responsible for the control of the traffic, are necessarily concerned in the matter. The Board are advised that double-decked cars should not be permitted to be coupled together, in view of the great weight of these vehicles, and they have suggested to the London County Council that the question of allowing smoking in one of the coupled single-deck cars might be deferred until it is settled whether a general consent can be given to the running of coupled cars. Some further experience is desirable before the matter can be finally decided.