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10th January 1922
Page 31
Page 31, 10th January 1922 — PRIVATE BILLS BEFORE PARLIAMENT.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Interests of the Motor and Haulage Industries that would be Affected.

THERE are a surprising number of private hills‘ more or less affecting motoring interests, of which notice has been given for consideration during the next regular Parliamentary session. A few corporations are asking for powers to adopt the trackless trolley or rail-less tramcar system. Some, of course, are proposing to extend their tramway systems. In both cases any proposals for the erection of central standards in ordinary roadways must be strenuously resisted. The central standard has been aptly defined as a method of turning one good read into two bad ones. There are, of course, occasional instances in which the central standard is not only justifiable, but positively advantageous, if a tramway system is to be installed at all. This applies where the road is, in effect, a wide boulea yard with ample carriage-ways down each side and a tramway track on a separate central portion.

A number of corporations also are applying for extended powers to run motor omnibuses, In most eases the point is that they wish to be able to extend their bus routes outside their own territories. The point to be watched here is the danger of licensing authorities being unduly difficult when approached by private interests, on account of their own competitive ventures.

There are a few applications for powers to apply hackney carriage by-laws to vehicles hired out privately. Similar attempts have recently been opposed and frustrated. In practice, the principle Involved is a had one. If. for instance, the local authority decides what rates shall be charged per mile in respect of hire cars, then, if those rates are low', only the poorest class of hire car will be made available at all in the district.If the rates are high, pecple who are at present making a decent living out of running moderately cheap cars at reasonable rates will be put out of business by the competition of far more elaborate vehicles running at rates which they ase not permitted to undercut. In general, the application of by-laws to a business of this kind, so often run on a small scale and in rather a casual manner, because trade is only to be got at certain seaeons of the year, would have a very discouraging effect, and in the long run would cause considerable inconvenience to the public by leading to the with.drawal of useful facilities.

There are other cases in which powers are sought for the local police to direct traffic into and out of specific streets, to lay down the exact routes to be followed by omnibuses, and so on: This kind of thing is very nearly akin to. the granting of powers for closing roads to certain classes of traffic, and is open to the same objections and possibly to others also.

The most serious matter of all is, of course, the application of a big group of railways for powers to run road motor services. This is a matter which we referred to at length some months ego and which roust presently be taken up again with all possible vigour. The problem is a complex one, aid it is very difficult to prejudge the probable effects of • action along various lines.


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