The Classification of Roads : Extent of Traffic the True
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Basis— ownN.s—apart from the heavy local rate S which they bear in the ordinary course of,affairs—already make an earmarked and speetal contribution to the Road Board which 'is in excess of £1,500,000 a year. The railway companies enjoy a monopoly, and in common, the convenience of all the local serViceslighting, police, highways, sewers, drainage, etc., etc. The motor user obtains no monopoly, and is not even guaranteed the supposedly-common right to use the King highway. Why should the railway companies not, be checked in efforts to pile up charges against' the trade of the country? :why should the commercial community not have the use of the roads? if motors are to pay, why excuse the railway companies thousands of heavy horse-drawn. lorries?
Impending Renewal of Track for the Chester Tramways.
It is announced that the Chester City Council will require, within the next two or three years, to renew the whole of the tramway track in the historic Deeside city, at an estimated cost 0,1115,000. We venture to hope that. the worthy councillors of this attractive and historic city will appoint a special subcommittee to go. into the details of, alternatively spending a like ,amount upon motorbuses. The opportunity is. one which cannot recur for a long term of years, and the circumstances of the day, consideied either from the standpoint of economy or efficiency, are sufficiently pressing to justify the appointment. of such a special sub-committee.
We deal with the special case of Cheher simply because it presents itself at the moment, but we none the leearegard it as typical,of other instances where a similivr,opportunity for revision of both opinion and practice will occur. We find from the P'arliamentary:Returnof Tramways and Light Railways Und.ertakings, which was presented to the House of Commons on the 31st August of last year, that the Chester. Corporation then operated under four miles .of line, and owned 18 electric cars. The trading resit*. were none too good, for the year ended 31st March, 1914, which is the last working period for which a return has yet been published by • the Board. of Trade in the course of official Parliamentary papens.. Nothing .was available for the relief of rates,, and only £2.549 for appropriation to depreciation (sinking fund) and renewals reserve. It has to'be noted, toe, that the total capital expenditure, as at the 31st 1121arch„.1914, had reached z..r;S2,380—or a slim well in excess Of £20,000 per mile of road served. We are, at the time of going to press, indebted to the Town Clerk of Chester for the 1914-1915. .fignies. Capital account remains as it was; 1922 goes for sinking fund and renewals reserve; nothing is left, to relieve the rates.
The Corporation of Chester will do well, we are convinced, to cOnSicler the following amongst other points, arising .fram„Onr suggestion that a special sub-committee should be appointed to go into the financial attractions of the purchase and operation of motorbuses, and the abandonment of the tramway undertaking: (a) Ability to serve a greater .a.103
[Extracts from this Journal of the 18th August, 1914.] To "Keep the Wheels of Industry Turning."
" The commercial-motor industry as a whole will benefit very materially frbin the cataclasm which is shaking Europe.
. The Government asks that civilian activities shall not be arrested—that Wagen shall be paid to the utmost extent 'compatible with the unprecedented conditions which have. been thrust upon the country. . We have 'filled more than 200 drivers' berths in one week. . . Our special index shows that our chief plans are directed to aid H(1) The Maintenance of. Civilian Transport.' (2) The Conservation of Food.' (3)'Supplies of Liquid Fuel.' (4) 'A Freight Exchange.' (5) 'Registration for owners seeking drivers, and
drivers wanting employment.' . We dissociate ourselves from the hastily-conceived and embryonic offers to the War Office from numerous sources. . . Japan, if necessary, will convoy to the Cape supplies of petrol from the East."
Tramcar Disabilities for War Service.
. . These leviathans perforce remain tied to their peace-time routes. . . The inability of the tramcar, as ''Punch' has it, to 'side-step' is an irremediable flaw which is now seen to demonstrate the uselessnes.s and lack of worth of the tramcar to meet emergency calls at a time of national
"The Wheels of Industry."
" A few members of the industry appear to have lost their heads, possibly under great stress of circumstances, in demanding cash before delivery from old-standing and solvent customers. No surer way of losing their connections can be invoked. Everybody is entitled to make exceptions where financial weakness has -existed. because that earlier state of affairs may now presage immediate collapse, but we have in mind demands of a very different character." " Official dementi have been issued by the petrol-importing companies, regarding local excesses in the Mattel. Of price. The Motor Trade Association explains that panic buying on the part of consumers has been the chief cause and that this has brought about a shortage of tins; it adds 'that `no tins' means ' no petrol.' The M.T.A. has also issued a circular prohibiting the trade, under pain of the Association's stock list, from adding more than 3d. per gallon to the wholesale cost. It is suggested that dealers should not give 'delivery of petrol in tins except in exchange for corresponding empty
The Chariots of War—(with 55 Illustrations).
" Waring's smart mobilization was effected in under 20 hours; the fleet of Leyland lorries was recalled from all over the country, and despatched fully equipped, by Mr. T. E. Harrison.'
"The L.G.O.C. has already lost 2500 out of its 18,000 employees, for war service." Considerable numbers of men from other branches of engineering are being rapidly transferred to certain industrialvehicle factories."
"A member of the editorial staff of this journal was called up on Wednesday morning, the 5th inst., as a special reservist in the motor transport, and proceeded to his place early the same day." " At the moment there is an almost entire absence of mechanical-haulage vehicles in certain districts of Lancashire and Scotland."
About. 1000 employees of the Dunlop Rubber Co., Ltd., have been called up for active service." "Upon arrival at certain depots, difficulty was found in providing the men with food, and in one case the local vicar opened a small church and supplied coffee and food at intervals to the motor drivers. The trouble was accentuated at another place by the fact that the local shop-keepers would only supply dock-hands with food." "Lever Bros., Ltd., of 'Sunlight' fame, sent no fewer than 72 machines to one depot."
"The supply. of steel wheels and steel coatings from Belgium is certain to be cut off. All publicity should be given to the capacity of any firm to provide supplies of this kind." " The Carter-Paterson organization has responded with remarkable promptitude to the demands of the War Office for mechanical transport, and, of course, for horse supplies. Fifteen Leyland three-ton, 15 Thornycroft 16-cwt., and three four-tanners of the same make, all subsidized under the temporary scheme with the exception of the last three, were dispatched on the 6th inst. to the concentration depots. The company also had impressed the following non-subsidized machinea--9 three-ton Strakers and. fifteen 50-cwt. Thornycrofts—in all, a total of 57 motor vehicles."
Renewal of Tramway Track—con,
number of miles of route forthwith, if the sum of £15,000 'be' On motorbuses ; (b) ability to extend the .moterbus-services on holidays and Sundays Outside the city; (c) ability to vary the routes accordina to local demands, events and fixtures, from day to dayor week to week; (d) cheaper maintenance of the highway, due to the .elimination of engineering difficulties which are introduced by the Qcistence of rails; (e) reduction of complaints by owners of ordinary wheeled vehicles, and of damage to such vehiides by the projecting rails; (f) greater Mobility of the smaller unit, and a lower average of unOccupied seating. capacity per unit; (g) a realized profit for application in reduction of rates—after allowing a period to extinguish the tramway debt.
Alleged Heavy Traffic Nuisance.
A case has been pending for upwards of a year, at the instance of the Kensington Borough Council, against a well-known haulage-contracting company in London, Yorke, Stoneham and Jones, Ltd., in respect of an alleged public nuisance arising from the passage of steel-tired steam wagons along particular thoroughfares in the Royal Borough. The action, which was recently, nearly put down in the lists for hearing in the Court of King's Bench, has fortunately now, been practically settled by negotiation. These negotiations have been taking place, over a period of several months, between the C.M.U.A., through its Chairman, Col. R. E. Crompton, GB., and the Kensington Borough Council, through the Town Clerk and others. It is of interest to note that Col. Crompton, as one of the largest ratepayers in the Borough of-Kensington, was in a particularlyhappy position to act impartially in the matter. The action, had it proceeded, must have involved both .sides in enormous litigation expenses, and the as part of its special, legal-defence Organization, was fully prepared to defend its member to the utmost.
• .A solution, which we trust will be a permanent one, has been readied by an undertaking from the user to order his drivers not to proceed along West Cromwell Read and Warwick Gardens between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. We trust that there will be an honourable observance of the compact, not only by the particular owner whose name has been mentioned, but by every other owner of a steel-tired steam i'"agon.before whoin this reference may -come. If no more complaints are made to the Kensington Borough. Council, we are well satisfied that the case. will never come before the Courts, and that an injunction, which Might have been obtained, and which might have created an awkward precedent, will.not be -Secured. The settlement of a dispute of the kind, espnaially at the present time, is a Matter for congratulation of all parties. The essential letters are printed herewith:— "The Commercial Motor Users 'Association (Incorporated). 83, Pall Mall, London, S.W.,
"The Town Clerk, RoYal Borough of Kensington, "Dear ir,—The committee of the Commercial Motor Users Association, which represents the whole body of users of commercial self-propelled -vehicles of the United Kingdom, has very carefully considered the action brought by your council against Messrs. Yorke, Stoneham, and Jones who are
members of our association. In order to avoid what committee believe to beunnecessary and embittered legal proceed-. logs during war time, a period when most of us have our best thoughts directed elsewhere, it has recommended that Messrs.: Yorke, Stoneham, and Jones should give an undertaking to your council to refrain from using the strictly residential thoroughfares, of the Royal borough, and in particular Warwick Gardens and West Cromwell Read, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., and it hopes that this will Meet the wishes of the inhabitants of Kensington. • "Messrs. Yorke, Stonehian, and Jones have agreed to give: this und-ertaking, but, of course, it must not be understood to invalidate their defence in the action you have taken against them. The committee suggest that this action should stand over until three months after the conclusion of peace, and then. it may be found that terms may be amicably arranged to dispose of it entirely. For the moment the postponement of the action will give you and your inhabitants what you require, and will not, on the 'other hand, damage our members'. position. I shall be glad to hear from you that you accept this.—Yours faithfully, " (Signed) R. E. CROMPTON, Colonel,
"The Royal Borough of Kensington, "Town Hall, Kensington, W. "4th August, 1915.
"This Council v. Yorke, Stoneham and Jones, Ltd.
"1 am in receipt of your letter of yesterday's date hereon. In reply thereto I have to state that the letter dated the 3rd altimo signed by Colonel Crompton, the Chairman of your Association, was brought before the Council at their meeting last evening, when it was decided that, without prejudice to the Council's position in the action;-the arrangement suggested in such letter should be agreed to, and that the Council's Solicitors should be instructed, to postpone all further proceedings upon receiving a satisfactory undertaking from Messrs. Yoeke, Stoneham and Jones. "I am instructing the Council's solicitors accordingly, and they will no doubt communicate with the Solicitors fel.: Messrs. Yorke Stoneham and Jones in due course. "I may mention that complaints of nuisance and annoyance: have been received with regard t6 other motor vehicles than those of Messrs. Yorke,. Stoneham :and Jones, and whilst I am not able to say that the owners of such-vehicles are . members of your Association, it is trusted that the Association may See their way -to induce those members of the Association whose vehicles use the -public thoroughfares in the Borough to observe as far as possible the arrangements now come to with Messrs. Yorke,Stoneham and Jones.— " Yours faithfully, ' "(Signed) W. CHAMBERS LE4T,
" gecretary, The Commercial Motor Users Association, 83, Pall Mall, S.W."
Your Horseflesh Will Cost You More.
Amongst the many factors which the commercialvehicle user or prospective purchaser has to take. into consideration in these __present unexampled days,. is that the great alternative. method, namely that of employing horses, is becoming, and will continue to become, an increasingly difficult one. This is, of course, a reassuring considerationfor those who are particularly interested in the exploitation of the commercial .vehicle, but it is, one that, perhapS.,. has not been considered in its full significance either, by the manufacturer, who is, as a rule, absorbed by more pressing. topics, -or by the user who is puzzled. by sufficient dilemmas already. It will surprise no one, of-course, to realize that horseflesh,' in common With alnuEest every other commodity, is costing more at the present time. This is true also of stabling materials and fodder. • The following figures are most instructive. They represent the comparative prices in late July and early August of 1914 and at the present time.
Then, as to the cost of horseflesh itself, we find that a pair-horse vanner, which over a year ago could be purchased of.good quality for something in the neighbourhood of ,Q40, at the present time will fetch anything between £65 and .k7O, and even then is not easy to obtain. A single-Vanner, which is a better animal and Lee to be a horse of good stout build, Which originally cost £50 or thereabouts, frequently now fetches any sum varying between £80 and £90 There is nothing in the situation which, from our own knowledge of remount conditions, leads us to suppose that this greatly increased cost ' of horseflesh will not be maintained for a number of years to come. The Government in this country has done nothing to encourage the breeding of the singlevanner, which is in war time the gun horse, and as a consequence this country's reserve of that clam of animal wag depleted long ago and exhausting purchases have ever since been made in Austialia and America and elsewhere. The demands for anything suitable in the way of horseflesh whilst war lasts will inevitably use up available supplies for years to come.
When considering the possibility of" keeping the wheels of industry turning" by the continuance of horse-transport methods, the vastly-increased costs of the " raw material " and the wherewithal to feed it and to stable it will have 6 be kept very much under consideration.