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Road Transport Activities in

10th February 1931
Page 87
Page 87, 10th February 1931 — Road Transport Activities in
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?


By Our Special Parliamentary Correspondent Conditions of Fitness Regulations.

TEE Minister of Transport stated last week that he received only a few days ago the observations of the road organizations concerned on the final draft of the Public Service Vehicles (Conditions of Fitness) Regulations, which he proposed to make under Section 68 of the Road Traffic Act, 1930. He hoped to be in a position to make the regulations at an early date.

Illegibility of Taximeters.

THE question of the illegibility of the taximeters on London cabs and their insufficient illumination has again been raised by Mr. A. Somerville. Mr. Short, the under-secretary at the Home Office, referred to the answer given by the Home Secretary on November 13th. He pointed out that all new taxicabs submitted for licence were fitted with meters which had large figures and were efficiently lighted.

As previously explained, it was not possible to enlarge the figures on the old type of meter without reconstruction, at great expense, of the whole instrument, and some time must elapse before all cabs were fitted with the modern type of meter and illumination. The police were hastening the improvement so far as was reasonably possible.

Sightseeing Tours in London.

HAVING received representation as to the effect which the proposed London Traffic Draft Regulations would have upon sightseeing tours in London, .Mr. Morrison has promised to give careful consideration to this aspect of the problem. He further states in regard to the regulations that, in framing them, he had before him the evidence submitted to the sub-committee of the London Advisory Committee and took it into his consideration.

Licensing of New Services.

TEE Minister of Transport was asked by Vice-Admiral Taylor -whether he had yet issued his directions to the Area Traffic Commissioners with special regard to those motor coach services which had been licensed by existing licensing authorities, and to what extent the repeated warnings as to licensing new services, which he issued subsequent to the passing of the .Road Traffic Act, had been violated.

Mr. Morrison said he had not issued directions on this subject to the Area Traffic Commissioners. They were bound under the Road Traffic Act, when considering an application for a road service licence, to have regard to the extent to which the service proposed was necessary, or desirable, in the public interest.

He had no means for ascertaining the extent to which the warnings referred to by Admiral Taylor had been disregarded, but he saw no reason to doubt that this was a matter which the Traffic Commissioners would take into consideration in deciding on applications for road service licences.

Railway Interests in Road Transport.

Oa request for information as to the extent of the control of the railways over road-transport systems, Mr. Morrison states that the proportion of the passengep road transport actually controlled by railway companies is, in his belief, small. At the same time, he understands that the railway companies have acquired financial interests in a large number of such undertakings. As regards goods service by road, apart from their collection and delivery services, the railway companies have, so far as he is aware, as yet acquired no considerable interests.

Road Conveyance of Large Boilers.

REFERENCE having been made to the conveyance last week by road of a large ship's boiler from Liverpool to Loudon, and the allegation made that there was damage to the road and dislocation of traffic along the Watling Street, Mr. Morrison stated that he had seen references in the Press to the conveyance of a hire boiler by road. The movement of such articles by road must, in the interest'of trade, be permitted on occasions, particularly when the articles in question were outside railway gauge. Highway authorities had their legal remedy in respect of the damage extraordinary traffic, and, further, in the Motor Vehicles (Authorization of Special Types) Order, 1931, recently made, it was provided that anyone using a special vehicle for conveyance by road of an exceptional load shall give notice to the highway authority and that such notice shall contain an indemnity in respect of any damage caused to any road, or bridge, by reason of the construction of the vehicle or the weight transmitted to the road surface not being in accordance with the general regulations as to the construction and use of motor vehicles.

Badly Packed Loads.

-urR. HORRABIN having expressed ,13.1concern about the overloading of lorries with sugar beet and the consequent scattering of beets on the roads in

certain areas to the danger of motorists and cyclists, Mr. Morrison said his attention had been drawn to the danger arising from articles falling off motor lorries owing to faulty packing, and he had dealt with the matter in regulations which came into force on January 15th, The regulations prescribed that the distribution, packing and adjustment of the load of a motor vehicle, or trailer, should be such that no danger was caused or was likely to be caused, • to any person on the vehicle or trailer or on the road.

• Kingston By-pass Road.

TN reply to • inquiries regarding the

• expense of upkeep of Kingston bypass, the Minister of Transport stated that Surrey County Council proposed to expend £90,000 upon a new concrete surface on a section of the by-pass. The total mileage, including the Merton spur, was 9.53 miles. The work on the by-pass was commenced in 1923, and the whole of the road was open to traffic in 1927, but certain sections were being used prior to that date. The cost of the Work was approximately £426170, and the amount expended on the maintenance of the highway under all heads since 1926 was £38,750. Grants to date from the Road Pend, including construction and maintenance, amounted approximately to £213,000 net. The work was executed by contract under supervision of Surrey County Council, but the further work would be by direct labour.

Methods of Taxation.

THE following interesting question and answer in the House of Commons should quieten rumours about any impending change in the methods of motor taxation.

Mr. Mender's question to the Minister of Transport was In these terms :—" Whether it is his intention to adopt the recommendation of the final report of the Royal Commission on Transport thk a small expert committee should be appointed by the Treasury and the Minister of Transport to investigate the question of the methods of levying taxation on mechanically propelled vehicles in consultation with the manufacturing interests?"

Mr. Morrison replied :—" The Government has always expressed its willingness to consider any proposals for alterations in the methods of assessing motor vehicles for licence duty, provided that the proposals did not lead to a loss of revenue and were agreed among the interests concerned. Unless there are any suggestions, consistent -with these conditions, which manufacturers and users now wish to bring forward, I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by the Government appointing an expert committee to consider the matter at the present time."

Regulations on Dazzle.

UNDER the Road Transport Act, 1927, the Minister of Transport is about to circulate to the motoring organizations and other bodies interested a draft of proposed regulations dealing with the control of headlights which dazzle. Any regulations which may be made, it is explained, can be varied at any time.

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