The Motor Omnibus World.
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A local service of motorbuses at Kingston-upon-Hull will shortly be inaugurated.
The London Central Omnibus Company, Limited, has obtained delivery of further Leyland omnibuses, and has extended the Kingsway route to the Elephant and Castle.
The Scheibler and Thernycroft omnibuses have been transferred from the Old Kent Road depOt to the Farm Lane depot of the " Arrow" service, and are now running on " No. 3 Vanguard " service, startingfrom the West-end of the route. Their place on " No. i service " (Cricklewood and Elephant and Castle) has been taken by 28h.p., 1906-type, MiThes-Daimler omnibuses.
The report of Thomas Tilling, Limited, for the year ending 31st December last, which will be submitted to the shareholders on Tuesday next, the 23rd instant, shows a trading profit
which, added to 4,27,434 brought forward from the previous account, gives ,,..55,464. The directors recommend that £i,soo be transferred to reserve fund, which will raise that fund to a total of Lig,000, and that a dividend of 5 per cent. free of income tax he paid on the ordinary shares, exclusive of those made over to trustees for the company, !caving a bala.nce of £27,464 to be carried over. The report states that the business now employs a number of high-class motor carriages, which are giving general satisfaction to customers, and for which there is a demand, and proceeds to state that the senior directors (the yen 'dors) have made over to trustees for the company 4.35,000 in fully paid ordinary shares, so aS to provide for the
entire extinction of the value of the " Omnibus Times " included in the goodwill. Full provision appears to have been made for depreciation of all classes of plant, before arriving at the above-mentioned trading profit.
The London Motor Omnibus Company, Limited, is experimenting with various colours and styles, with a view to deciding how the motorbuses are to be painted when the combination lakes effect. It has had one body repainted in lake colour, similar to the carriages on the Midland Railway, and two dark blue with " Vanguard Fi in gold letters blocked out with white and red. It is evident that the omnibuses painted white are too costly to enable them always to maintain a satisfactory appearance, and that a darker colour is an
actual necessity. .
Lamp-posts Once More.
At the meeting of the Southwark Borough Council on the loth instant, a letter was read from the secretary of the City of London Electric Lighting Company, Limited, stating that the company had been put to considerable expense for repairs to street lamp-posts damaged by motor omnibus companies, " who, owing to the very conflicting decisions given in -the various courts, show a disposition to repudiate any claim for re-imbursement of expenses, and, as it would be a benefit to all interested if the matter could be fought out on a test case, and a final judgment obtained," he was instructed to ask whether the council, among others, would be prepared to defray a portion of the costs of contesting a case in the High Courts. The 'communication was referred to the General Purposes Committee.
The Side-slip and Skid Prevention Awards.
Our congratulations to Mr. A. W. Torkington, of the Hartridge Tire Syndicate, Limited, of Dane's Inn House, 265, Strand, W.C., on the success achieved by the Hartridge Lire in the recent side-slip prevention trials of the Royal Automobile Club. We have been in close touch with the repeated and expensive experiments of this syndicate, and there is little doubt that these have run to a cost of many thousands of pounds. There is, however, real cause for gratification in the surmounting of numerous difficulties, and in the practical advance towards the elimination of side-slipping and skidding difficulties in motorbus operation. Not only has the syndicate been able to _make material improvements in the design of its segmental tire with a view to the removal of several notorious operating difficulties, but it has secured a design which does not overlcok the important point of. reasonable cost and provision for renewal. The principal features of the latest pattern of this tire were described in our issues of the 31st January and the f4th March last.
The supplementary wheel device of Mr. H. B. Molesworth, which tcok part in the R.A.C. side-slip trials, proved, in the opinion of the judges, that the use of six wheels possesses distinct advantages in the prevention of side-slip, though, as fitted and presented for trial, the adhesion was so far reduced as to result in a Serious loss of driving and of brake power. A certificate of merit has, none the less, been awarded to Mr. Molesviorth for his device, and its application should prove of much benefit as soon as a few modifications have been introduced. The photograph supplied to us by Mr. Charles Challenger, traffic manager of the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company, Limited, which we were unable to reproduce last week, will be found at the foot of this page, and the interesting design of char-h-bancs body will appeal to those of our readers who are following the important question of developing country services. The cult of the motor coach deserves every encouragement, as the double-deck vehicle is much less suited for interurban and purely country roads than it is for large cities. The reduced height of the motor coach, for example, does away with the risk of damage to outside passengers from overhanging boughs, and avoids the necessity for disputes and actions at law with landowners who are unwilling to carry out their obligations in regard to the lop
ping of branches. Mr. Challenger believes that many country roads will require to be widened at intervals, instead of along their whole length, in order that motorcoaches may pass one another, on lines parallel to what is customary in narrow canals. The bodies have been built at the Brislington works of the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company, Limited, and 24h.p. Thornycroft chassis are used.
The accompanying illustration is of one of the latest, Fiat, motor omnibuses, and of a design that is likely to be widely adopted in this country at an early date. It complies with all the requirements of the Metropolitan Police, and has stood the test of severe usage in numerous town and country services, both in this country and on the Con tinent. The strength of the various parts are proportioned so that the same chassis will serve the requirements of purchasers of 5-ton lorry chassis, and full particulars will be supplied by Mr. Victor Miller, who is paying special attention to this branch of the Fiat Company's business, at 37 and 38, Long Acre, W.C.
Complications at Chester.
A peculiar situation has arisen at Chester, in respect of the corporation's intended purchase of three motorbuses, and for which purpose the sum of £3,000 was voted by the Council in October last, as reported in ",T1113 COMMERCIAL MOTOR." Since OUT issue of the i ith instant went to press, a special meeting of the Chester Town Council has been held, and the resolution authorising the Tramways Committee to purchase the motorbuses in question has been rescinded by 13 votes to ii. We do not know what the upshot of this dispute will be, but we sympathise with Dennis Brothers, Limited, of Guildford, which company had been notified of the acceptance of its tender. The motion for rejection was moved by Dr. W. H. Griffith, who advanced sonic extraordinary arguments in the course of his speech. Amongst these were statements to the effect that "wherever motorbuses had been adopted there had been an increase of the death rate, especially among those suffering from chest complaints, and they had also increased infantile mortality." Continuing, Dr. Griffith instanced the fact that a country service, in the neighbourhood of Crewe, which was established in the year 1904, had resulted in a serious financial loss. The seconder of the motion, Mr. J. Williamson, commented on the fact that some 20 councillors were absent, and we certainly think that the meagre attendance, and the narrow majority by which the motion to rescind the previous resolution was carried, do call for very serious comment. The position is one of more than local interest, and the pro-but party does not intend to let it drop.