Sympathy for Rickard but no licence as BR switches its support
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
THE Minister of Transport, her inspector and the Traffic Commissioners for the Metropolitan and South Eastern areas have each in turn extended their sympathy to Charles Rickard (Tours) Ltd. because they had to refuse an application for a road service licence by the company.
Rickard operates various services connecting rail heads with Heathrow (London) Airport and had been asked by British Railways to survey a proposed ReadingHeath row service. This was to replace the Rickard-run Slough-Heathrow service.
An agreement between BR and Rickard for the Heathrow link services was terminated by BR before the public hearing (CM, December 30, 1966), and at the hearing BR supported Thames Valley Traction Co. who had made a similar application.
Rickard subsequently appealed.
'Technical support' The Commissioners' decision had hinged on BR support for Thames Valley and this support is described by the inspector as "of a technical nature". The inspector adds: "There is a presumption that what is preferable on technical grounds is likely to be preferable in the public interest."
In his report the inspector also states:—
"I feel very deep sympathy with Rickard, who, quite contrary to the expectations held out by its agreement with BR, has not only failed to secure a new and very remunerative service falling in the category conditionally reserved to it under paragraph B3(b) of that agreement, but has seen that service handed to another company in such a way as to deprive it of the most remunerative of the air link services which it was already running—indeed, the only consistently remunerative one."
Rickard indicated at the hearing that the loss of the Slough or Reading Service could result in its being forced to withdraw from the less remunerative air link services.
It has since withdrawn its Watford-LutonHeathrow air link service.
And this week, Mr. B. Walmsley, Charles Rickard, director and general manager, commented: "We have everyone's sympathy but still failed to get the licence".