Slight Drop in Midland Red Traffic
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IN 1962 the Birmingham and Midland
Motor Omnibus Co. Ltd. fleet ran a total of 75,960,400 miles, or about 0-6 per cent less than in 1961, and passengers carried, at 342,930,300, were 3.6 per cent fewer than in 1961. This was revealed by Mr. John Spencer Wills, the company chairman, at the annual general meeting on Tuesday.
Remarking that, although the financial link between the railways and the company had been severed by the Transport Act, the standing joint committee was in fact busier than ever—especially over the Beeching plan—Mr. Wills said he was reluctant to commit himself on the plan's likely effects on Midland Red. The company would be able to take care of ex-rail passengers where there was a parallel bus route but in other cases substitute bus services were likely to be a " dead loss "; already 43 per cent of stage mileage and 65 per cent of stage services were run below average cost.
The Birmingham-London service on MI operated 356 more journeys and carried 8,316 more passengers in its third year (1961-62) than its second, and the Coventry-London service, for which this was the second year, showed an increase of 140 journeys and 5,918 passengers.
Midland Red's new prototype motorway coach built to the 36-ft. by 8-ft. 21-in. box dimensions was now running satisfactorily on the Birmingham-London express service, said Mr. Wills. Designated the C.M.6, it seats 46 passenger's and is equipped with toilet facilities.
By the end of the year all the 195 D.9 double-decker buses authorized by the board had been completed; of the 100 single-deckers authorized, 96 had been completed. he said. Of this number, 50 were the 36-ft. S.16 type. With regard to the long-term programme which he had referred to last year, Mr. Wills said 25 of the D.9 double-deckers were in service, as also were 81 of the Leyland single-deck buses and 46 of the Daimler double-deckers. The programme was going ahead at a satisfactory production rate.
Midland Red had extended its Leicestershire activities, said Mr. Wills, by acquiring Brown's Blue Coaches Ltd. of Markfield and the goodwill of the tours and excursions business of Price's Coach and Catering Co. Ltd., Leicester.
The Birmingham Bull Ring Centre project would be completed by November, he forecast, when Midland Red would have there a bus station of its own, a central situation at which would be concentrated arrival and departure points at present positioned in various parts of the city.