National Bus Company
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The second of the three new State-owned transport organizations which were vested on Wednesday is the NBC, which acquired the securities of 65 companies mainly concerned with the operation of road passenger transport services in England and Wales. These companies were divided between two groups—the Tilling Association companies controlled by the THC from its formation on January 1 1963 (10,000 buses and coaches) and the British Electric Traction Company's bus operating subsidiaries, acquired by the THC in November, 1967, (9,700 buses and coaches). In addition four jointly owned companies operated a further 250."
Headquarters of the NBC will remain at Argosy House for the present, with the former BET companies being directed froth Sttatton House, Piccadilly, London W 1, headquarters of the BET. Shortly, both branches of the NBC will be joined in a move to new premises being erected in New Street Square, London, EC4.
The manufacturing subsidiaries of the Tilling Group—Bristol Commercial Vehicles Ltd. and Eastern Coach Works Ltd., who build bus chassis and bodies respectively—were also transferred to the NBC. It should be noted that 25 per cent of the shares of the above two companies are held by the British Leyland Motor Corporation and the reciprocal 28.8 per cent holding of the THC in the BLMC's coachbuilding subsidiary, Park Royal Vehicles Ltd., has also been transferred to the NBC.
The duties of the NBC, as defined in the Act, include the carriage of passengers by road, whether inside or outside England and Wales: to carry passengers by vessel or hovercraft where that carriage forms part of a passenger transport service by road by the company or a subsidiary or by some other person, whether or not as agent for the company; to carry also luggage or other goods in a passenger vehicle or a trailer drawn thereby or in a vessel operated as defined above; and to store goods which have been or are to be carried by the company.
The NBC will also be permitted to let passenger vehicles for hire with or without trailers for the carriage of goods; to carry on business as travel agents; and to enter into agreements with any person engaged in the provision of transport services for co-ordinating the activities of that person with those of the NBC.
It will also be the duty of the NBC to co-operate with the Executives to be set up in the Passenger Transport Authority areas in the reorganization of bus services to, within and from such areas. Agreements entered into with the Executives might, where it is considered appropriate, include the transfer of bus services from the company to the PTA, or vice versa. NBC
services operated entirely inside PTA areas under such agreements will not come tinder the jurisdiction of the Traffic Commissioners.
The NBC must operate as a commercially viable undertaking and the commencing capital debt of the company must not exceed £130m. According to paragraph 53 of the White Paper "Public Transport and Traffic", it will have power "to acquire voluntarily bus undertakings which fit in with the rest of their services", although the White Paper adds the rider, "but small private operators in many areas will continue to play a useful part in the provision of services particularly in country areas".
As with the THC and BET, NBC subsidiaries will continue to operate under a company structure, though with some grouping of management and directorships. Individual operating companies will, in most cases, retain their identity although rationalization of operations of adjoining companies will continue.
The opportunity has also been taken to remove the anomaly of certain bus services to, from or within Sheffield, Halifax, Huddersfield and Todmorden in which the British Railways Board had holdings; these have been transferred to the NBC. The services concerned are operated jointly with the respective municipal transport undertakings.
The NBC board consists of a part-time chairman, Mr. A. N. Todd, 63, who will receive a salary of £5,000, a full-time chief executive and member of the board, Mr. T.W.H. Gailey, 61, and four other part-time members. Mr. Todd has been a full-time member of the Central Electricity Generating Board since 1965. Mr. Gailey has been director of passenger planning in the THC and chairman of the Tilling Association Ltd.
The other part-time Members are Ald. W. Alker, chairman of Bury transport committee; Mr. A. P. de Boer, vice-chairman of the British Road Federation; Sir William Hart, clerk to the GLC; and Mr. W. M. Little, full-time chief executive of the Scottish Transport Group. Each will receive a salary of £1,000 apart from Mr. Little. The following companies' assets were transferred to the NBC on Wednesday: Aldershot and District Traction Co. Ltd.: Amalgamated Passenger Transport Ltd.; Bath Electric Tramways Ltd. Bath Tramways Motor Co. Ltd.; Birmingham and District Investment Motor
Omnibus Trust Ltd.; Birmingham and Midland Omnibus Co. Ltd.: Brighton, Hove and District Omnibus Co. Ltd.: Bristol Commercial Vehicles Ltd.: Bristol Omnibus Co. Ltd.: British Transport Advertising Ltd.; City of Oxford Motor Services Ltd.: Cheltenham District Traction Co.: Crosville Motor Services Ltd.: Cumberland Motor Services Ltd.; Devon General Omnibus and Touring Co. Ltd.; East Kent Road Car Co. Ltd.; East Midland Motor Services Ltd.; East Yorkshire Motor; Services Ltd.: Eastern Coach Works Ltd.; Eastern Counties Omnibus Co. Ltd.; Eastern National Omnibus Co. Ltd.; Greenslades Tours Ltd.; Hants and Dorset Motor Services Ltd.; Rubble Motor Services Ltd.: Lincolnshire Road Car Co. Ltd..
London Coastal Coaches Ltd.; Maidstone and District Motor Services Ltd.; Mansfield District Traction Co.: Mexborough and Swinton Traction Co. Ltd.; Midland General Omnibus Co. Ltd.; Neath and Cardiff Luxury Coaches Ltd.: North Western Road Car Co. Ltd.: Northern General Transport Co. Ltd.; Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Traction Co.: Newbury and District Motor Services Ltd.: Otley Omnibus Stations Ltd.; Park Royal Vehicles Ltd.; Potteries Motor Traction Co. Ltd.: Red and White Services Ltd.; Rhondda Transport Co. Ltd.: Ribble Motor Services Ltd.: Shamrock and Rambler Motor Coaches Ltd.; South Midland Motor Services Ltd.. South Wales Transport Co. Ltd.; Southdown Motor Services Ltd.: Southern National Omnibus Co. Ltd.; Southern Vectis Omnibus Co. Ltd.
• T.H.C. Bus Nominees Ltd.: Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd.; Thomas Brothers (Port Talbot} Ltd.: Throughways Transport Ltd.; Tillings • Transport IT.11.C.} Ltd., A. Timpson and Sons Ltd.; Trent Motor Traaion Co Ltd.: United Automobile Services Ltd.; United Counties Omnibus Co. Ltd.: United Welsh Services Ltd.; West Riding Automobile Co. Ltd.: West Yorkshire Road Car Co. Ltd.: Western National Omnibus Co. Ltd.: Western Welsh Omnibus Co. Ltd.: Wilts and Dorset Motor Services Ltd.: Yorkshire Traction Co. Ltd.: Yorkshire Woollen District Transport Co. Ltd.