COACH-SEATING POSITIO N, FORWARD OR FACING?
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WHILST.acknowledging the " Crellin Duplex" system v-v for coach seating as ingenious, I do not think such arrangement of seats would be appreciated by the British travelling public as a whole.
Modern singleand double-decker vehicles are fitted with facing-forward seats almost without exception, as this has proved to be the most comfortable arrangement. Bus and coach passengers are almost inevitably strangers and nothing is more embarrassing than to have to sit opposite one or more total strangers on a long journey by road. The majority prefers to sit facing one way and to observe the scenery rather than to have to "strike up" an acquaintance, however inollensixe the person opposite may be.
For family outings or parties of a breezy nature, the Crellin system may prove a success, but for ordinary travel, especially tot early morning workers, nothing would be more abhorrent. It is an established fact that English people do not become acquainted easily and prefer to remain reserved On the Continent things are different, and it is a common thing to see travellers on French railways in excited conversation without formal introductions, and a Crain bus or coach should be welcomed in France. Spain or Italy
Another more serious aspect is the danger of such a large number of passengers (()0) being trapped in case of fire or accident.
No special emergency exits are shown in the design published in your issue of March 19. The idea is by no means new, as a design evolved before the war by a London concern was illustrated in "The Commercial Motor " in 1947. The fuel tank is also in a vulnerable position under seats in the middle of the vehicle, whilst the engine, being also placed under passengers., is likely to producA, heat and smell unless well insulated.
Seats facing forward have come into use in recent times on trams, buses and coaches and arc greatly preferred by the public to seats facing opposite, which were first introduced over 300 years ago on the first railway coaches, and are still in rise to-day.
I do not think that the Licensing Authorities would pass such a system unless better exits were provided.
Birmingham, 5. C. E. S. LANE.
[We cannot agree with this correspondent regarding the great objection to passengers facing one another. This method of seating is adopted on practically all railways, including London's Underground_ We have noted also that in buses, particularly in London, where there are facing seats at the back, these are often occupied in preference to the others. The studied reserve of the average Briton is not so apparent in these days, as it was in the past. Many an interesting chat now develops in circumstances where passengers face one another, although this may not happen so frequently on short-distance bus journeys.—ED.]