Contract or Licence— Which Conies First ?
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S1NCE Smith's Luxury Coaches (Reading), Ltd., were granted a licence under a War Department contract to carry civilian employees at the Royal Army Ordnance Depot, Bramley, British Railways have been losing 80 passengers a day, it was said at a Ministry of Transport appeal inquiry at Reading last week. •
Smith's were granted licences to operate an express service between Reading and Bramley under a travelassisted scheme by the South Eastern Traffic Commissioners last January, and the British Transport Commission were appealing against their decision.
At last week's hearing Mr. R. C. Oswald, for the Commission. said Smith's were granted a short term licence to operate the service from September 5, having been awarded a contract by Southern Command, but, he said, at the hearing before the Traffic Commissioners, Mr. Frank Masser, Smith's traffic manager, had been unable to produce witnesses to support his application, because in 1953 the War Department had issued instructions to all Commands prohibiting the attendance of witnesses.
Contract Before Licence At the same time the War Department had said they would be prepared to award contracts to road operators after they had obtained a licence. In this case. said Mr. Oswald, Smith's had been awarded a contract before they got a licence.
"If the Traffic Commissioners are expected to accept the rules and regulations laid down by the War Department about the attendance of witnesses. the War Department themselves should adhere to their own rules," he declared. " If the application had been made to the Commissioners before a contract was awarded, their decision might have been very different."
FDR the new eliminating round of the " Lorry Driver of the Year" competition to be held at Croydon Airport on July 23, inquiries have so far been received from firms who wish to enter a total of 183 vehicles, reports Mr. R. F. Waite, competitions secretary.