Call our Sales Team on 0208 912 2120


13th February 1919
Page 12
Page 13
Noticed an error?
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.

Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

How the Motor Lorry Can Do What Reasonable Street Widening Cannot Do. The Cost of Delay..

ONE OF the greatest difficulties that always occurs in connection with the growth of any city or town is that of traffic congestion in the narrow streets and roads which have resulted through the, not unnatural, lack of. foresight on the part, of those who, in a measure, and in a lesser or greater degree, were responsible for the original planning of the traffic ways.

In every large city in the "United Kingdom, as was pointed out by Mr. L. Broekman in an address which he gave last week to the members of the Engineers Club in Manchester, municipalities have invariably been threatened with traffic congestion as one of their main difficulties, and in atteinpting to solve the difficulty, unfortunately, a waiting policy has always seemed to answer best because the first obvious solution of the difficulty, -street widening, Whilst being enormously costly, inevitably throws the way open to supplementary schemes, the coot of which is dreaded. Yet the volume of freight movement converging towards thoroughfares of central areas everywhere grows steadily year by year, whilst the limitations set by narrow and irregular streets are felt more and more severely.

The Neglected Causes of Transport Delay.

The result of this, of ,couSse, is that the real causes of delayed deliveries and bad distribution, generally, are left untouched. Too many of our railway goods yards, docks and warehouses are out of date as regards loading and unloading •facilities. Approaches to business premises are awkward, loading facilities, in numerous instances, are quite inadequate, both as regards dimensions and power appliances, and frequently consignments have to be dealt with by manual , labour. On the roads theniselves, the loaded lorry has to face a welter of conveyances in the streets, where the rate of progression * restricted by slow moving horse vans. • .

The experience of practical men has shown that the record of motor wagons engaged in town deliveries ean frequently be as is set out in thq following 'table:

Loaded running ... .. 2.1 hours 17.8 percent.,

Running empty ... , ... 1.4 hours 12.2 percent.. Standing time for loading, unloading and through idleness ... •... ... 8.5 hours 70 per cent.

12 hours 100 , per cent. •

. Take it that two hours per day are allowed for tol. lecting and delivering loads, this means that the vehicle is practically idle for two-thirds of the working day, during which no revenue from the investment is forthcoming.

The public generally can have the vaguest idea only to what extent toll is taken by bad distribution; how this causes Alternate scarcity and glut of essentials, the natural consequence being extortionate charges in the one case and waste in the other, whilst the price for every single commodity is raised against the -consumer.

Business men have become so well seasoned to traffic congestion on railways, at docks, and in the streets, that they fail to realize the seriousness of affairs, and no longer marvel at their own forbearance, yet, in the aggregate, the money losses entailed in wages, through penalties, cancelled orders, litigation, and the value of perishables which are ruined, must be fabulous. In 1914 it was estimated that the interest charges alone on goods which were bunkered

in transit amounted to considerably more than twice the total cost of transportation.

Those firms who have adopted motor haulage with advantage have really not reaped the gain to which they were justified in looking forward, because the

furl benefit from power-driven vehicles cannot possibly be obtained so long as the present botch-poteh of vehicles in our streets is tolerated and until mechanical devices for the transit of goods have displaced hand labour everywhere. • Whilst traffic congestion handicaps trade gravely enough now, it threatens to cripple it altogether if prompt steps are not taken to remove the handicap. Production is sure to be greatly increased in the immediate future ; building operations, the reconstruction of highways and bridges, the repaving of streets ; renewals of, and additions to, plant in our mills and factories will all go to swell the stream of traffic, and, when one remenit■ers that the working week of drivers , and carters will be reduced. to.48 hours, that stream may become 'absoiutely unmanageable.

Street widening cannot be

Mr. Broekman put forward the argument, which. has been advanced in the pages of Trim COMMERCIAL MOTOR before, that the motor vehicle itself is one of the most valuable means for the reform of traffic congestion. The power vehicle with the.sarne load-carrying capacity occupies only two-thirds of the road space of the horse lorry, but, taking the traffic of our streets as being mixed, a fair basis will be that five motor lorries can be operated where four assorted craft are taking up road space now.

Motor Transport Would Solve the Problem.

Taking the rate of movement in dense traffic, with narrow channels and broken cross roads as inciden tals, the pace for mixed conveyances is set by the slowest cart. Draught horses rarely exceed three miles per hour in speed anywhere ; motor lorries by themselves can easily average eight miles per hour.

Taking both conveyances into account, the ratio of utility is 10 :3 in favour of power vehicles, apart from I heir greater facilities in Manoeuvriug, backing, etc., that a complete change over from present conditions to purely motor transport will be the equivalent of rendering our streets about three times more spacious than they are now. In actual practice it would be a most acceptable result merely to total their effective width, and this is feasible without a doubt.

Mr. Broeknaan suggests that certain main 'roads in busy districts could, by order of the local authorities, be held available for fast traffic alone, and after a.

reasonable period the central area of any city or town might be freed entirely from the encumbrance of horse vehibles, and this would permit the removal of stables from populous neighbourhoods, which, in itself, would offer economical advantages. He also recommends that deliveries should continue during the night hours when the Streets are relatively clear of traffic.

He points out that delivery service will to be continuous. Goods, once placed on the rail or on board ship, proceed on the way to their destination at all times during the 24 hours. How, then, can cartage, which is the weakest link in the chain of communication, suspend service at night without failing hopelessly in arrears ?

He regards electric vehicles as having strong claims for consideration in respect of night duty. He thinks that considerable economies could be effected by the establishment of central distributing and receiving depots open =always. He puts forward strong argn ments in favour of omnibuses as compared with tram. way systems, and also in favour of the use of meehanical appliances for the rapid loading and unloading of goods.

Transport as a barometer of trade is infallible, and an increased traffic volume tends to progressive and suocesaful local enterprise. We should see to it that every tendency to clog the circulation of vehicles is promptly remedied: There are some measures that can be allewed to wait ; this one cannot wait because our bread and butter depends upon it. All of us must be keen te contribute in some degree by deed or helpful suggestions towards smoothing the way to abounding prosperity in this country, so as to maintain it, -no matter how severe competition may be henceforward, RS the true centre of the world's commerce.


comments powered by Disqus