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Loose Leaves.

17th April 1928, Page 40
17th April 1928
Page 40
Page 41
Page 40, 17th April 1928 — Loose Leaves.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

ONE of the most popular. officials of the Metropolitan Police is the chief engineer, Major T. H. l'itty, T.D., M.I.Mech.E., A.M.I.E.E„ and during our visits to New Scotland Yard (we hasten to add that these have always been entirely voltuitary I) we have found him most courteous and willing to assist in placing facilities at our disposal so that we can follow the interesting work which is being carried out in connection with mechanical transport for the police in the Metropolitan area.

Despite the size of the motor fleet, its supervision constitutes only a branch of Major Vitty's activities, as he is responsible for all the engineering services for the police and police-court buildings in the Metropolitan district, the maintenance and running of motor boats, wireless equipment, policemen's hand lamps, lifts, etc., yet he is one of those exceptional men who appear to be able to find time for everything. We have usually found that it is the man who does who is more accessible than the man who talks of what he is about to do. The Major is justly proud of the well-designed garage in Lambeth Bridge Road, and it certainly is a model of efficiency and cleanliness.

ONE may be addicted (as we frankly confess) to

the byways and to those parts which are off the beaten track, but now and again the great arteries must be encountered and either crossed or traversed until the next tributary permits an escape. At 'Faster time, however, we often dawdled at the junctions with the main stream, content to let it flow. past us in all its endless variety, to observe human nature (often at its funniest, as when a hatless flapper was seen lolling back in the dickey

seat of a car conducting quite an elaborate toilet, regardless of the hundreds of pedestrians, motorists and bus passengers thereabouts) and to cogitate upon the change which has come over road traffic in a few years. For lordliness and utter dignity the magnificent motor coach now rivals the private limousine ; the common herd is found in the low-fl car. Vulgarity has left the char-a-bancs and now runs its own motor vehicle " Magnificent " is truly the word to describe some of the coaches—in fact, the majority of them seen on the road to-day. The ill-found, ill-kept and noisy "chart," that had commenced life as an Army lorry, is a thing of the past, and one of the consequences is the absence of the coach from that awful tale of "holiday disasters" that fills the principal columns of the dailies after the public has been let loose on the roads for a day or two. No more do we hear of " charas " running backwards Or getting out of hand on the hills through neglected brakes and poor equipment. Well! in our columns we inveighed enough against the crude lorry type of public-service vehicle and it is a pleasure nowadays to contemplate a picture which, if anything, shows the other extreme of efficiency, comfort and elegance.

THE "opposite numbers" in the provinces to the London General Omnibus Co. in London have been the British Automobile Traction Co., Ltd., and Thomas Tilling, Ltd., and now there is to be a fusion of these two interests under the title of Tilling and British Automobile Traction, Ltd. It may be curiously constructed, but the title is at any rate descriptive of the combination. The new concern acquires 920,325 shares in 18 undertakings, obtaining them from Tillings, the British Electric Traction co, Ltd. (its parent concern, which Is still largely interested in tramways) and from its • associated companies, and the capital is to be in

creased to two millions sterling by the creation of. 1,400,000 ordinary shares of £1 each. Mr. Sidney E. Garcke is the chairman of the company and, for a comparatively young man, carries an immense burdeh on his shoulders. Yet the burden* seeds to sit lightly and it is always an extremely pleasant meal when we meet by chance or intent, as occasionally happens in London.

There are to be a few changes on the board of directors. Mr. C. S. B. Hilton, for many years chairman of the B.A.T. Co., bas retired; Mr. E. S. Shrapnell-Smith, not being able to devote the whole of his time to the affairs of the large group of companies in which the new concern is so deeply •interested, prefers to retain a freedom of action which membership of the board as it is now constituted would not permit, and will in future act only in an advisory capacity, whilst the Things will nominate directors to fill the vacancies and to bring the strength of the board to eight. The B.A.T. Co. has only one fleet of buses working in its own name, and during the past year the whole of it has been renewed. Thus the concern is essentially a holding company. MR. GARCKE, when addressing the shareholders of

his company recently, referred to the efforts of the railway companies to obtain powers to operate roadtransport services. He pointed to the fact that the cheap privately owned motorcar is carrying an enormous volume of passenger traffic which would, but for Its development, have been conveyed either by the railways or by omnibus services. Every company in the B.A.T. group is reporting a marked change in the character of its traffic, which is due to the fact that many classes of former bus passengers now travel in their own cars and, as he says, it is not possible for either the railways or the bus operators to deal with this menace to their revenues. Much the Sante experience is recorded in America and in other countries. lie sees no insurmountable difficulty in the co-ordination of the efforts of the railways and road-transport concern's, and he considers that the improvement in travel facilities which has, at any rate, been effected by. the bus and coach operators is developing the travel habit amongst those who do not own a private motor vehicle and this is, in .a large measure, the factor which makes up for the passengers lost to the cheap car.

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