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FAVOUR TROLLEYBUS Twelve-journey Ticket Question Settled
IF Belfast City Council accepts the I recommendations of a deputation of the tramways committee, which has been investigating menicipal-transport practice in England, an experimental service of trolleybuses will be inaugurated.
The deputation has inspected the trolleybus systems in Birmingham, Bournemouth, London, Nottingham, Portsmouth and Wolverhampton. Investigations show that the introduction of trolleybuses has, in various cases, resulted in traffic increases of 10-30 per cent.
Whilst local conditions and the price of power have an important influence on the subject, the deputation considers that trolleybuses enable tram fares to be approached more nearly than is possible with motorbuses. The trolleybus also enables schedule times to be reduced by 12-20 per cent., as compared with the use of trams.
The deputation found that in Wolverhampton trolleybuses were inaugurated in 1923. From the receipts, a considerable tramways debt, which would otherwise not have been paid off for 20 years, was extinguished in five years.
BUSES RESCUE L.M.S. PASSENGERS.
ANUMBER of buses was hired, on Monday, by the L.M.S. Railway Co., from Ribble Motor Services, Ltd., to help the railway to maintain the passenger service between Lancaster and Preston on the Great North-West line. Owing to floods, this was blocked for the better part of the day at Brock, a village about six miles north of Preston.
At Brock, the depth of water made the roads also impassable, and the buses were compelled to make a detour. Railway passengers boarded the hired buses with light luggage. Heavy luggage, however, presented a more difficult problem and was subjected to a further delay.
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last week's issue, the Northern Traffic Commissioners gave their decision on the 12-journey bus-ticket proposals by the L.N.E. Railway Co. These are the conditions on which the tickets may be issued:—
Tickets to be issued only on services where a system of inter-availability of tickets is in force that necessitates the use of this type of ticket for accountancy purposes. The period of validity to be 14 days. Books of tickets to bear the date of issue.
Books of tickets prominently to bear the words "not transferable." Each book of tickets to be signed by the holder at the time of purchase, or before it is produced on the second journey. Unsigned tickets not to be valid. No ticket to be available for use by any person other than the person whose signature is appended.
Tickets to be detached by the conductor, or by the holder, in the presence of the conductor. Each book of tickets to bear the letters " M " or " F " (indicating the sex of the holder), and the appropriate letter to be clipped or punched out by the conductor when the ticket is issued. Books of tickets to be issued only at the offices of the licensee by the conductors On the vehicles operating the services, or at Messrs. Quickfalls Agency.
The Commissioners pointed out that, as early as 1931, their attention was drawn to the wide variety of multiplejourney tickets, the uneconomic charges that were being made, the varying periods of validity, and to the fact that the books of tickets were more susceptible to abuse than the card form of ticket.
An endeavour had been made to bring uniformity into the conditions governing the issue of the tickets, and in August, 1931, it was announced that, in respect of 12-journey tickets, the charge should be based on the rate of 0.66d. a mile, and the period of
validity should be 14 days. In September and October that year the period was extended to a month.
Having regard to the fact that contract tickets available for two months and upwards are generally cheaper than the corresponding number of weekly 12-journey tickets, and are available for unlimited travel to the public generally, the Commissioners did not feel justified in limiting the latter class of ticket to workmen. It would be unwise to reintroduce a system that had already been tested and abandoned.
They were not disposed to accept the contention of the railway company, at this stage, that the use of such tickets by persons other than workmen constituted an under-cutting of the.
ordinary fare and created wasteful competition. They did, however, regard with considerable concern the irregularities proved in evidence and referred to during the hearing as " minor abuses."
Fixing the period of validity at a month might have had the effect of extending the facility of cheaper travel to persons other than those who travel so frequentlyas to be eligible for the privilege. Adjourned applications for licences, pending this decision, have been re listed. Regarding current licences authorizing the issue of 12-journey tickets, with the exception of those held by Ribble Motor Services, Ltd., Cumberland Motor Services, Ltd., and other North-Western operators, the Commissioners propose to vary their terms, so as to impose the new conditions.
When several applications regarding 12-journey tickets came before the Commissioners at Middlesbrough, last week, Sir John Maxwell, chairman, suggested (with the concurrence of United Automobile Services, Ltd.) that they should he withdrawn until it was known whether there would be an appeal.