MUNICIPAL BUS ENTERPRISE AT NEWCASTLE.
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The Proposal to Purchase a Further 50 Motor Buses, 18 New 28-seater Vehicles Having Already Been Ordered.
IN an article which we published a few weeks ago reviewing the remarkable advances in popularity, of the motorbus amongst municipal authorities on the north-east coast, we dealt in detail with the fairly extensive use already being made of this type of passenger vehicle by local corporations and
with the numerous ambitious schemes at present in various stages of formation. We described, in particular, the significant bus developments projected by the transport and electricity under taking of the Newcastle Corporation.
Since the publication of that article, this authority has lost no time in forging ahead with its plans, and only a few days ago exhibited its preference for the motorbus, as against other forms of passenger conveyance, by deciding to request the city council to sanction the purchase of a further '50 buses.
This new move follows closely upon the heels of the recent decision to expend over £20,000 upon the purchase of 18 new 28-seater vehicles, and is further proof of the strong hold which motorbuses have gained in a quarter where other means of locomotion were once favoured. Delivery of the 18 new buses has practically been completed. Six of these vehicles are being supplied by each of the following companies:— Associated Equipment Co., Ltd. ; Dennis Bros., Ltd. ; Guy Motors, 'Ltd., and many of the buses are now in actual service and routes have been allotted for the remaining vehicles which will shortly be put into service.
The main object underlying this ex
tensive purchase of buses is 'primarily to institute, for the first time in the history of the authorities, direct into the city services from outlying neighbourhoods in place of the joint bus and tram arrangements which have hitherto existed over several routes.
The accompanying illustration depicts one of the buses supplied by Guy Motors, Ltd., of Wolverhampton, and which is now in daily service. It is built on most attractive lines and its basis consists of one of the company's chassis specially designed for passenger carrying. The body was built by Messrs. Strachan and Brown, of Wales Farm Road, Acton, London, W., and in its construction much attention has been given to the necessity for keeping the weight within definite limits. The seats are arranged in the conventional manner, that is to say, transversely, and are well upholstered. All the bodies comprising this fleet, are built on similar lines and have entrances at the rear on the near side.
Since taking delivery of some of these new vehicles, the Newcastle Corporation has extended its service from the city to Ponteland, to take in Belsay, thereby increasing the mileage for the single journey from 8 to 15, and providing regular facilities for transport in a prosperous agricultural district which, in the past, has been almost entirely devoid of passenger transport advantages. Active steps are also being taken to replace the feeder services between Stocksfield and the tram terminus at Scotswood by the institution of a through bus route from the city to Stocksfield and Prudhoe. A new service -running from the city to Coxlodge will, it is expected, be opened up in the near future.
It is expected that the larger number of new vehicles to be purchased will be of a similar type to those now being put into service.