THE ETHICS OF MUNICIPAL OPERATION OUTSIDE BOUNDARIES
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Arguments Put Forward at the Lancaster Inquiry
,THE first public inquiry to be held 1 under Section 91 (1) of the Road Traffic Act, 1930, took place at Lancaster a few days ago when the applications of the Lancaster and the Morecambe and Heysham corporations, for an order to modify local Acts of Parliament and Statutory Orders to the extent of permitting the running of publicservice vehicles to ' certain places outside the borders, were heard. The inquiry was conducted by Lt.-Col. R. H. Tollerton, M.C. The L.M.S. Railway Co. and Ribble Motor Services, Ltd., opposed the applications, whilst Lancashire County Council was present to watch proceedings.
In such a case as this the municipalities concerned virtually ask for perB48 mission to go to the Traffic Commissioners and apply for road service licences, and, therefore, the Ministry of Transport is not concerned with details as to the proposed services.
The attitude', of Ribble Motor Services, Ltd., was that there was no room for the services' proposed without the introduction a wasteful competition. For Lancaster Corporation it was submitted that the intention of theAct• was that local authorities should have power to run outside their areas, subject to the consent of the Commissioners and the preservation of existing private rights, and the argument
was put forward that the Commissioners could not co-ordinate transport services if they were hamperethpby any prohibition against the utilization of mpnicipal buses in conjunction with other services in adjoining rural districts.
Lancaster Corporation has erected houses for workers outside its boundary and claims to be allowed to run bus services to these new estates for the benefit of the inhabitants. "it is intolerable," the town clerk of Lancaster said, "that local authorities should continue to occupy a position of inferiority. The corporation's application is an emphatic objection to inequality and privilege." He argued that the objections raised by the Ribble concern were purely matters for the Commissioners. The town clerk of Morecambe and Heysham endorsed the arguments of the Lan caster official, and Lancashire County Council raised no objection to either application.
The North-Western Commissioners have decided that no protective fare must be imposed by Warrington Corporation beyond 440 yards from its tramway terminus.