§ 35. Colonel HOWARD-BURY
asked the Minister of Transport, seeing that a motor omnibus licensed to carry a certain number of pasengers becomes an uninsured vehicle if it carries an extra passenger, that the Home Office have issued letters instructing motor omnibuses that they may at certain rush hours carry standing passengers, and that this renders the vehicle an uninsured one and liable to heavy penalties, whether he will take steps to rectify the position?
§ Mr. HERBERT MORRISON
The carrying of a number of passengers on a public service vehicle in excess of the seating capacity of the vehicle is authorised in certain circumstances by the Public Service Vehicles (Equipment and Use) Provisional Regulations (No. 2), dated 4th July, 1931. I understand that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has drawn the attention of chief officers of police in the ordinary course to these regulations, but has not issued any instructions to the owners of public service vehicles in the matter. As I said in reply to a question asked by the hon. and gallant Member on the 20th May, I understand that it is possible to obtain insurance policies which cover the carrying of additional passengers. It is incumbent on every owner of a motor vehicle to see that his policy of insurance or the alternative security provided for in the Act affords the necessary cover in all circumstances in which the vehicle is used. I have no powers to make any exception in the case of the owner of a public service vehicle.
§ Colonel HOWARD-BURY
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these constant new regulations under his bureaucratic control make it difficult for omnibus proprietors to keep up-to-date, and cause them additional expense?
§ Mr. MORRISON
I cannot agree. I think that the omnibus proprietors are capable of looking after themselves. In any case, these powers were conferred with the consent and co-operation of the hon. and gallant Member in the Committee on the Bill.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Would there not be plenty of omnibuses to carry passengers if it were not for the interference of the Minister of Transport?