HC Deb 17 March 1952 vol 497 cc1911-2
59. Mr. Steward

asked the Minister of Transport if he will take the necessary steps to amend the Transport Act, 1947, so as to allow the introduction of buses run by private enterprise in the London area.

Mr. Maclay

No, Sir. This would involve an alteration of the structure of London Transport which has been in operation for nearly 20 years.

Mr. Steward

Does not the Minister appreciate that if a private bus company were allowed to operate in London at the present time, if only as an experiment, we should have a comparison of costs and, possibly, a lowering of fares—and certainly a better service to the public?

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Does the Minister propose to take steps to amend the Transport Act, 1947, for any other purpose?

Mr. Maclay

That is quite another question.

Mr. C. W. Gibson

Is it not a fact that the reason a Tory Government nationalised London Transport was the very fierce and anarchic competition which grew up in London then?

Mr. Maclay

The hon. Member will realise that there is a difference between a nationalised industry and a public utility company.