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To Furnishing Warehousemen, Removal Contractors, and General Carriers.

12th June 1913, Page 1
12th June 1913
Page 1
Page 2
Page 1, 12th June 1913 — To Furnishing Warehousemen, Removal Contractors, and General Carriers.
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Several thousand copies of this issue will be addressed, over and above our normal sales, for use and study in those circles, to members of the general haulage trades of the country, and particularly to furnishing warehousemen, removal contractors, and general carriers. This journal frequently contains matter and announcements of interest to those important trades, and on several occasions in the relatively-early days of the commercial-motor movement we issued and circulated special numbers which arc recognized to have helped materially to build up the place which mechanical transport now deservedly enjoys in them. We may, amongst the issues which we have in mind,. and especially with the knowledge that many subscribers originated from them, mention the " Builders and Contractors' Issue" (18th January, 1906) and the "Motor Hiring and Contracting Issue "(15th October, 1908).

When we look back to those and other early numbers, when we consider the comparative figures of ownership and performance that were to be noted five and more years ago, and when we compare the character of the announcements which manufa,cturers were then able to make, in regard to testimony from satisfied customers, with the corresponding in • formation and particulars that are available now, we are bound to express satisfaction with the progress that is shown. Many owners, of course, prefer to keep back information as to profits.

New recipients of TIIE COMMERCIAL MOTOR will, we feel sure, be prompted to become regular subscribers to this journal, and they will best do this through their local news.agents. Whatever they may decide in that regard, we wish immediately to urge upon them the business necessity of their arranging to pay a visit to the great exhibition of commercial motors, accessories and supplies, which will take place at Olympia some six weeks hence, beginning on the 18th July. That exhibition should at once be noted on engagement lists, for it will contain the best selection of vans, lorries, wagons, tractors, etc., which has ever been presented for examination in any part of the world. These exhibits will remain on view until the 26th July, and they will provide convincing evidence of the progress of which we write.

Pro-tramcar Journalism.

The volume of alarmed and misleading protests, on the part of the pro-tramcar newspapers, first and foremost amongst which we class " The Daily News and Leader," grows in relation to the increasing difficulties in which the L.C.C. undertaking is now placed through the extension of up-to-date means of transit by motorbus. That extension, be it noted, is in response to public demand. As an example of this class of reference, we think the following extract from the above-mentioned journal's issue of the 5th inst. will be informative : "Wherever the bus goes, the road repairer follows, and the ratepayer ' foots the bill.' Meanwhile the tram, which is the property or the ratepayer, is burdened with the cost of making and widening the roads, which the bus, which contributes nothing to the rates, destroys. The situation is fantastic in its injustice." We would suggest to our contemporary's leader writer that he should have regard for facts. As to maintenance, Westminster City Council, which has probably more experience of motorbus traffic than any other in the Metropolis, does not find an increase of maintenance charges due to the use of rubbertired motorbuses. As regards the burdening of tramcars with the cost of road widening, the L.C.C. tramcars have been charged with only 2500,000 of a total which exceeds 210,000,000. Very large sums are charged by the L.C.C. to improvement account, and, whilst the whole of the 210,000,000 has not been spent upon or in connection with tramway routes, we are satisfied that the trams have escaped at least 22,500,000 of such capital expenditure.

The third view that we criticise which is provided in the short extract which we have made, is found in the statement that the motorbus contributes nothing to the rates. This is a half truth, and for that reason is the more unworthy of a London daily paper, because London motorbuses, by the yield of the petrol tax, may be held to contribute practically the whole of the 2250,000 which the Road Board some months ago set aside for specific allocation to London Borough Councils. If we adopt the very argument of the " Daily News," in respect of relief of the rates by tramcars, which it used on the occasion of its comment upon a letter from the pen of the writer, in reply to Sir John Benn, earlier in the year, there can be a relief of rates without a specific contribution. That was the argument of our contemporary in regard to the relief of the rates by the L.C.C. tramcars. We ask it to apply the same argument now.

Horseshoes for Modern Roads.

We congratulate the Roads Improvement Association, which is often, though improperly, stated to be a motorists' body, upon its announcement of a horseshoe competition ; A, prize of 2100 has been presented by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The object is to secure the shoe which shall best suit the horse on modern highway surfaces, and the surfaces. We may incidentally state that the R.I.A., in addition to the representation thereon of cyclists and other non-motoring users of the highway, has upon its Council delegates from the Incorporated National Union of Horse and Vehicle Owners. No association can claim so completely to represent all classes of road user, and necessarily we include the pedestrian user, because every cyclist, motorist and horse owner is at times to be ranked in that category.

We direct attention to this horseshoe competition, whilst unable to give space to publish the particulars, because the writer, as Hon. Treasurer of the Association, knows how desirable it is to make clear the fact that the R.I.A. merits general support from every section of the community. When new legislative and other proposals are under discussion, there has in the past been practically no opportunity for the voice of the average user of the highway to make itself heard. Thus, we may recall, on the occasion of the L.C.C. application for trailer-tramcar powers last summer, the House of Lords, by ruling that the opposition of the Roads Improvement Association could not be taken under the then-existing Standing Orders, in effeet allowed the L.C.C. proposals to receive sanction without the case for owners of any ordinary forms of wheeled traffic being heard. Fortunately, as we have already reported, the Standing Orders of the House of Lords have since been amended, and that real indecency of procedure, under which all who deserved to be heard in opposition were shut out upon a technicality, has been removed. The R.I.A. already possessed a locus before the House of Commons, but it had failed to exercise it, in the belief that other parties were moving, on the occasion to which we have referred.

We look forward to the day, in the not-far-distant future, when the R.I.A. will be supported ten times as generously as it is to-clay. Its appearance, by counsel, before the Local Government Board Inspector who conducted the inquiry on the Croydon Borough Council's application for authority to proceed with a reliefroad scheme in that district, may be taken as an indication of one direction in which such extra resources will be expended to advantage. We strongly recommend our readers to take an interest in this Association, and to apply to its Secretary, at 15, Dartmouth Street, Westminster, S.W., for fuller information. Members of the Commercial Motor Users Association are already represented upon its Council. The minimum individual subscription is 5s. annually.

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