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The Results of Nationalization in the Irish Free State

15th February 1935
Page 43
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Page 43, 15th February 1935 — The Results of Nationalization in the Irish Free State
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A Review of the Statistics for

1934 Illustrates the Change Wrought by the Road Trans port Act, 1933. A Marked Improvement in Traffic Receipts a Feature of the Past Year's Working Tyear 1934 undoubtedly marks t most important period in the history of road transport in the Irish Free State. It covers the first 12 months of the operation of passenger road transport under the terms of the Road Transport Act, 1933, and we are now in a position to judge, from a• review of the year's working, the effects of the rather drastic experiment initiated by that Act for the organization of this class of traffic.

From the statistics just published by the Free State Government it is seen that, on the whole, the returns for 1934 show a marked improvement on the figures for the previous year. With the exception of cross-border services, an all-round increase in the traffic and receipts on all sections is reported.

More Passengers, but Fewer Vehicle Miles.

Although the number of passengers carried on wholly internal services last year was .19,413,000 and showed an increase of 8,071,000 passengers on the figure for 1933, the total number of vehicle-miles fell from 30,191,000 in 7933 to 29,704,000 in 1934. This decrease in the number of vehicle-miles May be accounted for by the greater organization resulting from the amalgamalion of services in the Dublin city and suburban area and the country areas, where the independent bus services have been absorbed by the tramway and railway companies under the terms of the Act of 1933.

It is interesting to note that in the Cork city and suburban area, where the amalgamation was already complete, the number of vehicle-miles actually increased from 2,023,000 in 1933 to 2,040,000 in 1934. The number of passengers carried also increased from 12,298,000 to 13,075,000 last year in the Cork city area. In the Dublin area the number of Passengers carried last year was 67,939,000, as compared with 60,906,000 passengers in 1933.

The gross receipts from passenger fares on all internal services totalled £1,145,431 in 1934, representing an increase of £60,904 on the figure for the previous year. The greatest increase in receipts as compared with 1933 was shown in the Dublin city and suburban area, where the receipts at £589,297 showed an increase of £50,322 on those for 1933.

On the cross-border services, the total gross receipts amounted to £63,543, as compared with £94,393 in 1933. On the same services, 1,632,000 vehicle-miles were run and 1,947,000 passengers carried during 1934, as compared with 2,282,000 vehicle-miles and 2,145,000 passengers in 1933.

It cannot be said that the Road Transport Act, 1933, alone is responsible for the shrinkage of traffic on the cross-border routes. The general decline in cross-border trade as a result of the intensification of the traffic duties on both sides of the border have seriously affected the traffic. It is evident, however, that until some arrangement has been made to co-ordinate road services on both sides of the border, no hope of a satisfactory working of these services can be entertained.

The average passenger receipts per vehicle-mile amounted to 9.3d. on all services last year, as compared with 8.6d. on internal services and 9.9d. on cross-border services in 1933 The total revenue accruing from luggage, parcels, mails, etc., carried on passenger vehicles was £35,445 during 1934, as compared with £30,652 in the previous year.

Propaganda to Popularize Motor Coaching.

The total gross receipts from passengers by motor-coach services amounted to £27,741 last year, representing an increase of £3,773 on the figure for 1933. The increase in revenue from motor-coach services is encouraging, and special efforts are to be made diking the forthcoming summer to popularize this form of transport.

It is interesting to note that, as a result of the Act of 1933, the total number of licencees of buses fell from 83 in December, 1933, to 52 last December. The accompanying table shows the manner in which the smaller companies are being absorbed by the four larger concerns, the monthly gross receipts of which exceed £1,000. The smallest class of company, earning receipts of under £1.00 per month, is not being so rapidly absorbed as the intermediate concerns, the revenue earnings of which constitute a serious opposition to the trading of the monopolizing companies, On December 31 last, licences were current for 738 buses, as compared with 746 buses on the same date in 1933. On the last day of June, 1934, 809 licences were current, as compared with 811 licences on the same date a year earlier. These figures show that, whilst the process of amalgamation and consolidation is proceeding apace, little reduction in the present road fleets is being contemplated.

Types of Bus that ate in Chief Demand.

It is significant, moreover, that the total seating capacity of all licensed buses increased from 19,718 in December, 1933, to 20,634 in December, 1934. Greater numbers of vehicles in the 2732-seater 1.nd over 32-seater bus classes were licensed in 1934 than in 1933. The number of new hackney vehicles over six-seaters, registered and licensed for the first time in 1934 was 101, as compared with 41 in 1933. /

Bus services were run on 5,057 miles of road during December, 1934, as compared with 4,999 miles in the same month of 1933. The increases in each of the counties affected Were; Donegal, 18 miles ; Carlow, 14 miles ; Louth 10 miles ; Cork, 8 miles ; Kerry, 8 miles.

These figures give an accurate indication of the present state of the passenger road transport industry in the Free State, and they reveal that the industry is at last organized and established on a sound operative basis. It is to be regretted, however, that the year 1934 practically brought to an end private enterprise in coach and bus operation, and it is to be hoped that the sacrifices made by independent operators since the passing of the Act will be of ultimate benefit to the general public.

By taking over the extensive services operated in Southern Ireland by the B27

Irish Omnibus Co. and several other companies, the Great Southern Railways practically gained a complete monopoly of the passenger-transport services operating within its area early in 1934. The Great Northern Railway also took over several concerns, the largest of which was that controlled by H. M. S. Catherwood, Ltd., Belfast.

In the North Donegal area, the Londonderry and Lough Svvilly Railway gained another virtual monopoly of passenger road transport. Finally, in December, the Dublin United Tramways Co. took over all the regular bus services in the Dublin city and suburban area. The passenger road transport organiiations were finally organized last year into four distinct groups, each group exercising a monopoly within its own area.

The consolidation completed, the four companies concerned are setting out to develop their road services as much as possible this year. The Great Southern Railways has closed four branch lines to passenger traffic, and has substituted bus services for them. The Great Northern Railway has closed one of its branch lines in favour of passenger road transport, and it is rumoured that the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway is about to close clown the greater portion of its system and to operate road services in its place.

The Great Southern Railways proposes to open up to visitors the wild country of the west, including Connemara, by coach tours during the summer months this year and an extensive campaign to popularize ,tours to these districts will be launched. Special allin tours by the companies' luxury saloon coaches will be organized on a much greater scale than in previous years. This year a sum of £75,000 is being spent on new buses by the company and 12 of the 50 vehicles to be put in service will be luxury coaches.

The plans of the G.S.R. also include the closing down of the Broadstone station terminus in Dublin for conversion into a bus depot and road-transport workshop and garage. A central buS station is to be built on Bachelor's Walk, Dublin.


Organisations: Free State Government
People: Demand
Locations: Dublin, Belfast, Londonderry

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