The Motor Omnibus World.
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Alphabetic Route Boards.
"1".:v: London Electrobus Company, Limited, on Friday of last week, obtained the approval of Scotland Yard for the experimental use of a route board upon which the names arc arranged in alphabetic order. The sequence submitted and passed reads thus : ABBEY, BANK, CHARING , GAIEly. LAW COURTS, LUDGATE CIRCUS, I . PAUL'S, STRAND, WHITEHALL.
Censuses of Motorbuses.
Mr. I Ikt-bert Samuel, in the House of Commons, on the 41h instant, informed Mr. Markham that there were 1,o95 licenses for motor omnibuses then in force over the Metropolitan area : our last fortnig-htly census, which was compiled on the 2nd instant, gave the total as 1,086. We have, for the past twelve months, been confronted by increasing-, difficulties in respect of the correct checking of motorbuses " in commission," i.e., those 'which, although they may be temporarily out of service, have not been permanently xyithdrawn by their owners. It is not hard for our checkers, who do the counting. to record any vehicles when they are seen on the streets, but the companies are in no hurry to give information as to the reason why scores of others, from which the police plates have not been taken, are " lying up " in various depots. In any event, for the time being, an error of nine in i,005 cannot be regarded as really serious, but our supporters can rest assured that this matter of correct checking and publication is one which continues to engage “l11" most serious attention.
Ilustrated a week ago (page 173
too lanip-post where the gla2ed burner framewas set inwards from the kerb upon a special arm, and We C0111Melld1H it to the attention of certain autiorities whose lamp-posts are broken \\ ith unpleasant frequency. 1Ve p...ftdish herewith an example of it still better course, as it would indeed Is' an unrub. motorbus that went over the • ■■ hole width of the side walk. The exact re;•.son \vhy public authorities con tinue put lamp-posts dangerously near to the kerbstone is one winch ranriot be appreciated by the ordinary mind, and ii is a course which, we understand, although we are not able to qmte dirk Art Of Parliament, is forbidden 111" Statute. Th is much 5\ C 1.10 knowthat an old traction-engine owner in the North of England used to lcnnwt: down lamp-oasts with impunity. and to produce the Act to winch nit' refer. The misfortune is that he tool;. his knowledge of this most useful prr,yision with him to the grave, for it was not known even to his son, who subsequently had to pay fines from witHi his father had regularly escaped. We arc not, of course, suggestingthat motorbus companies should damage lamp-posts, and go " scot free." Where sucl, damage is caused by skidding,
the apparently, has me" I‘een par
tially decided against I he companies, butt many -..uch claims for damage arise in respect of damage to the glazed frame, alone, and not to the posts, and it is against this form of damage that the proerictors should be protected by It reason:J.)1e settin.e-back of the supportingbase.
Mr. I:dwri II. Cohen, late chief engineer to the Great Eastern London Motor Omnibus Company, Limited, notifies u2.; that he has resigned his position with that company, rind is taking ttp an engagement as works superintendent C.1 a large factory in 1..ondon.
Mr. R. Bell: a Correction.
There appeared, in our issue of last week, On the first page of " The Motor Omnibus World," a paragraph which stated th:a Mr. R. Bell, late chief engineer of the Vanguard Motorbus Company, Limited, had become associated with Messrs. Du Cros, and that he would have charge of a large fleet of Austin and Panhard cabs. This advice reached us, in writing, from an accredited correspondent, and the statement was naturally published in gootl
faith. We have now been formally notified that the paragraph was inaccurate, and we much regret its publication in this journal.
We regret to note that a motorbus came imo collision with a telescopic ladder, on the morning of the 4th instant, with the result that two men were injured, and a third, U [HAI WhOM lbe ladder is stated to have fallen, was killed, in the Walworth Road.
In respect of a skidding accident :17 Collider Town, on the 25111 ultimo, when an unknown intuit was killed, a verdict of accidental death was returned. and the jun, exonerated the driver of the bus from all blame. The coroner stated that the evidence showed that the deceased suddenly became confused and went backwards.
The Tochnorden inotorbuses, for the half ear ended the 3oth September last, made a loss of .:482, which showed a better situation than during the previous six months. A year earlier, the loss, for the twelve months ended the 3oth September, 1907, amounted to 4;3,000. Many advocates if the motorbuses maintain that the loss experienced would have been much greater had electric traction been attempted.
Petrol-electric Omnibuses in New York.
The New York Transportation COMpany has recently received delivery of the first of tlw new type of petrol-electric motorbus, of which a number has been ordered from the General Electric Company of America. The New York motorbus services, of which the original and most important traverses Fifth Avenue, have hitherto been entirely sustained by de Dions. Each new machine is equipped with a six-pole generator, which is coupled direct to the 3oh.p. petrol engine. The four cylinders have a bore of five inches and the piston stroke is of the same dimensions. The engine and generator are carried on a subsidiary frame which has threepoint suspension. The two motors, which are geared to the rear wheels through double helical gear wheels by chains, are practically small railway motors ;Intl are rated at r25 volts, 3o amps.
The Discontinuance of Motorbus Services.
The withdrawal of the motorbuses From several of the routes in London, which routes had hitherto been served by the three recently-amalgamated companies, has given rise to a considerable amount of protest from the Hampstead. two districts which are now again being served by the horsed omnibus. The annoyance is particulash. keen in parts of Streatham and in II inipsI OA, two districts which are now deprived of the through services of the !notorbus by the withdrawal of the machines which ran from Oxford Circus right through to South Croydon, and from Hampstead to Victoria respectively. However necessary the constant rearrangement of the omnibus routes in London may be, to suit the changes of season traffic, even if it is not a fact that the policy of redistribution is largely dictated by the desire for overwhelming competition with ether companies who are outside the amalgamation, the consiant revision of routes which has taken place throughout the past year undermines the confidence of the travelling public, and it is strongly to be deprecated from that point of view. If regular passengers are to be retained, something like finality in the choice of routes must quickly be achieved. Mr. Ernest Sawyer, of the Coburn Motor Company, Bromley, Kent, hopes shortly to obtain the sanction of Scotland Yard for the running of an A.B.C. omnibus between Farnborough and Bromley.
The Metropolitan Asylums Board has placed orders for Polack tires and rims, for two motor omnibuses, at -1:88 los. (Dennis bus), and j..,98 (Leyland bus), less 21 per cent. cash discount in each case. The price includes fitting, and is subject to it guarantee of to,000 miles.
Halving the Cost.
Holborn Borough Council recently accepted an offer of the motor omnibus companies to pay half the amount of the cost of reinstating the damage caused to certain lamp-posts, etc., within the borough by the skidding of their motor omnibuses. The motor companies now desire to attach to their offer the condition that the Council shall on the same terms agree to settle all similar claims during the period of three months. Having regard to the un-:Oiled state of the Law on the subject of the liability of the proprietors of motor omnibuses to pay for damage done by skidding, and to the limited period during which the condition is to he in operation, the Law and Parliamentarv Committee has accepted the conditions.
Important Scotch Appeal.
In the Second Division of the Scotch High Court, before the Lord justiceClerk and Lords Low and Ardwall, in appeal \V as recently heard (front a decision of the Sheriff Court of :Therdeen) by the pursuer in an action brought by a boiler-maker who had been run over by a motor omnibus which belonged to the Great North of Scotland Railway. The man's right leg was fractured, and the Sheriff Court had awarded I:So and expenses to him. The Lord justice-Clerk, in giving the decision of the Court, said he was Salk
fled that the speed was reasonable. The pursuer might have remained where he was, or he might have gone straight on, and, had he done either of those things, no accident could have happened. The man, apparently, got excited, and made a rush, in consequence of which he fell. The driver did everything he could to avoid the pursuer, but he was unable to clear the man because a tramcar was coming forward at the saute time. He thought the authorities in Aberdeen, and in all other places, should see that the Law was obeyed, and that tramcars should not be stopped nearer to one another than 50 yards on the same track. The tramcar could not give an inch of the road to any other vehicle in an emergency ; it had to stand still on the road like a house. He did not suggest that drivers of motors were entitled to rush along and hoot everybody out of their way, which was too often done, but in this case nothing of the kind had occurred.
The decision of the Court was unanimous.
An L.C.C. Manceuvre.
There was an amusingpiece of byplay, at the meeting of the London County Council on the 27th ultimo. Just before the Council rose, Mr. H. T. Anstruther, apparently fired with enthusiasm by the proceedings at the Mansion House, hurled the following inquiry at the Chairman of the Public Control Committee : " 'Whether, in view of the increasing danger and annoyanre to persons, and detriment and ecti-ance to property, incident to motorear, motorbus, motorvan and locomotive traffic on hig-hwitys in LAnidon, and of the numerous representations frian the City Corporation, the Metropolitan Borough Councils, and other bodies and persons praying for more effective regulations for the control of this I raffic and the abatement of this nui sance, the Chairman can in the Council what steps are being taken to allay the wide spread apprehension and anxiety which has been mitnifested." Mr. Haydon, the Chairman, was evidently prepared, for he read, with great relish, the following reply : " The Public Control Committee are fully alive to the importance of this matter, and are considering proposals for the better regulation of the traffic in question. The problem, however, is one of great difficulty, and a large number of authorities and interests are involved." The reply went on to state that the CoonciPs powers are limited, and that an itmendment of the law is imperative. . . . " It is therefore, hoped," con. tinued the Chairman, " that the Government will see the necessity of introducing fresh legislation--" Sir John Benn intervened, here, to inquire if this was a political manifesto, but Mr. Iravdon calmly pro::onded—" at an early date, to overcome the difficulties to which its attention has been directed by—" (here came a long list of public bodies and commissions). " I may also mention," he concluded, "that the Prime Minister has consented to receive a deputation from the Council on the whole subject of London traffic, towards the end of November."
It was an excellent piece of stage management, for one minute later copies of question and answer were being distributed in the Press gallery.
Messrs. Dodd and Dodd, civil engineers, of Birmingham, are acting tor clients who intend to apply in the next Sesslon of Parliament for an Act to authorise the installation, in the Mi'dvern district, of a system of troteywire electrobuses.
We are interested to learn, in conversation with several manufacturers of motorbuses, that they do not fear competition with any vehicles of small seating capacity which are dependent up::n a central generating station. Whilst it must be admitted that not a few corporations will incline towards the vehicle which consumes electrical power, we are of the same opinion.