Operating Aspects of Passenger Transport
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ROCHDALE TO RUN BUSES ON CREOSOTE
IN order to cater for shopping services land late trips at night, 20 Rochdale Corporation buses are to he operated on creosote fuel. When Mr. G. A: Cherry, manager of the passenger-transport department, wrote to the Regional Commissioner, at Manchester, asking for permission to operate additional mileage on certain sections for shopping traffic and an additional late trip at night on each section, the Commissioner replied that be could not sanction any additional fuel for such purposes. He intimated, however, that he would sanction the extra mileage if the department were prepared to run the extra trips by the use of creosote.
Previously, the Commissioner had held that these extra journeya could not be regarded as essential mileage. For some time past Rochdale Passenger Transport Department has been allowed to run six buses only on creosote "for experimental purposes."
GLASGOW'S EXPERIMENT WITH
GAS BUSES ' GLASGOW is to experiment with gas-operated buses. At a meeting of the corporation transport committee last Monday approval was given to .a recommendation by a special committee that the transport department should equip a single-deck bus. With a compression-ignition engine run on gas drawn from a bag container fixed on the roof, and to convert another bus to the use of compressed gas.
" SOUTHDOWN " PLANS COACH CRUISES I N presenting its programme of coach cruises for 1940, Southdown Motor Services, Ltd., makes it clear that, owing to war conditions, it is unable to offer such a variety as in previous years, but it hopes to run one tour from Brighton each week. A high standard of comfort, both in the vehicles and in the accommodation at the hotels, will be maintained, and there Will be no increase in fares.
Outstanding amongst the tours is one of seven days' duration to Devon and Cornwall, at an inclusive fare of £13, and another of six days' to North Wales, for which the inclusive fare is £11.
INCREASED EARNINGS HELP TO OFFSET HIGHER COSTS
AT the annual general meeting of Red and White United Transport, Ltd., Mr. Ralph Williams, the chairman, said that the combined fleet of buses and coaches now operated was 555, the 1939 mileage was 16,800,000, and the number of passengers carried on the vehicles of the company and its subsidiaries totalled 46,500,000.
The activities of all the operating companies have been gravely affected by the war and, when fuel rationing was introduced, services were curtailed and many vehicles laid up. Improve
ments have since taken place, because many workmen's services have been introduced for men engaged on war work. The present mileage, however, • is considerably beldw the normal, with the result that all overhead charges have greatly increased the cost per mile. An increased rate of earnings per mile partially offsets the higher operating costs, but the earning rate is not likely to increase without raising fares, which the company hopes to avoid.
TROLLEYBUS CONDUCTRESSES AT DARLINGTON (WING to the calling-up of conducI‘Jtors, Darlington Corporation is to employ women conductors on its trolleybuses. So far, about 50 women have offered their services and an immediate start is being made with the necessary training. Trolleyhus drivers are in a reserved occupation, from the age of 30 years, and no steps are yet being taken to employ women drivers.
ROCHDALE'S REDUCED SURPLUS FrIlE annual report of Rochdale Pas senger Transport Department shows a surplus of £19,399, compared with £31,128 a year ago; it is proposed to use the former sum towards the cost of new buses at present on order. Owing to cuts in services, due to fuel restrictions. the distances covered were lower by about a half-million miles, but traffic receipts .showed a reduction of only £2,034 (£226,:385, as against £228,419). Until the war started, however, revenue was actually up by £4,220 per week. Working expenses rose during the year by nearly £10,000 (£'213,405. compared with £203,538)..
CONDUCTRESS SUMMONED FOR EXCESSIVE BUS LOAD
A T Doncaster, recently, a Municipal Pi-conductress was summoned for carrying an excessive number of passengers on a bus, and the transport department was summoned for permitting the offence.
When the case came before the magistrates, the assistant town clerk said that the department was restricted to 70 per cent, of the amount of fuel that it obtained before the war. Moreover, with the reduction in train services and an increasing number of people wishing to use the buses, the position of war-time transport had become difficult. Doncaster had a population of 70,000, but doing their shopping in the town were 95,000 people, which meant that facilities had . to be provided for up to 10,000 families to come into the town to do their shopping. The result was that chaotic conditions were created at bus termini, and passengers had the utmost difficulty in boarding vehicles.
The magistrates dismissed the summonses on payment of costs.
Kent County Council has now withdrawn its objections to the Maidstone Corporation trolleybus provisional Order.
EDINBURGH BUS FARES INQUIRY
AFTER evidence had been led before Mr. Archibald Henderson, Regional Transport Commissioner, in an application by Edinburgh Corporation to increase municipal bus fares from ld. to lid., Mr. Henderson said the case presented certain difficulties which made it impossible for him to arrive at a decision at that stage. A case had been established for some adjustment of the present fares.
For the corporation, it was stated that the proposal left untouched the higher fares from the outlying districts, workmen's fares, and children's fares. It was proposed to operate the new fares for an experimental period of four months, at the end of which the position would be reviewed in the light of experience. Uniformity of charges, as between buses and trams, would be preserved, as the tram fares would be increased.
. The Commissioner raised questions relating to the position of the Scottish Motor Traction Co., Ltd. He said that, as Regional Commissioner, he compelled the S.M.T. to charge ld. more for fares than the corporation charged on its trams on routes where both were operating.
• Councillor West Russell, convenor of the transport sub-committee, said it was considered that the S.M.T. Co. was • not so much involved in the short distances as in the longer •. distances. Answering further questions, Councillor Russell said the corporation was willing to face the fact that it was bringing its fares a id. nearer the S.M.T. fare. It was not going to bring any pressure to bear on the S.M.T. Co. to ask the Commissioner to increase the company's fares. Equally so, it was not going to ask to be given protection of a Id. increase on the S.M.T. fare.
Mr. Thomas Gray, principal assistant in the transport department, said that from September 9 of last year until May 4 last, there had been a total decrease in the bus revenue of £21,966, as compared with the previous year.
Evidence was also given by the transport manager, Mr. Robert M'Leod. The Commissioner asked hirri if he had considered the old business method of reducing the value of what you are giving for Id. instead of increasing the price, and his answer was that £96,000 additional income was required to make the transport department self-supporting.
NEWCASTLE OBTAINS TROLLEYBUS AUTHORIZATION
A PROVISIONAL Order authorizing
• Newcastle-on-Tyne City Council to operate trolleybuses in the Elswick Road area, to replace the existing tram services, has been made by the Ministry of Transport. Mr. T. P. Easton, general manager of the corporation transport department, said that although sanction had been obtained, it might be necessary to wait a long time to convert the route, owing to the war.