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17th April 1928, Page 49
17th April 1928
Page 49
Page 50
Page 49, 17th April 1928 — ATTRACTING THE HOLIDAY TOURIST.
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How a Scarborough Motor-coach Owner Co-operates with the Railway in Order to Provide Ample Touring Facilities.

COACH owners on the north-east 'kJ coast, in common with their colleagues in other parts of the country, are now all prepared for the launching of their campaigns in connection with road tours for the forthcoming season. In Scarborough, which is one of the best favoured of the north-eastern watering-places, adequate plans • have been made for coping with business during 1928, and owners there are confident that good business will reward their efforts if the weather be at all favourable.

A prominent coaching company in this resort, Robinson's Motors, Ltd., is looking to the future with quiet confidence in the certainty that the steps which have always been taken to ensure safe, comfortable and reliable road touring facilities will reap a good result, as they have done in past seasons. The company's coach fleet is one of the largest of its kind in this part of the country. By reason of the remunera t i v e arrangement with regard to running times which this company has worked for some time past in conjunction with the London and North Eastern Railway Co., the present is a most appropriate time for reviewing the undertaking's activities. With so much attention being focused on the question of road and rail inter.ests, it is extromely interesting to be able to cite a case where

co-operation i s proving equally beneficial to the railWay company and to the road operator concerned. Actually; indeed, the working arrangement between Robinson's Motors, Ltd., and the railway company provides quite the most interesting feature of the Scarborough coaching trade.

The history of the coaching concern is an absorbingly interesting 'One. The company dates back to over a century ago and at one time owned over 100 • horses, 20 coaches and 24 horse-drawn chars-à-banes. With the coming of motors, however, the management immediately saw the possibilities of mechanically propelled vehicles for the purpose of providing transport for tourists, and the first motor of the com pany was put into service in the summer of 1907. This proved so popular with the general public that it was quickly followed by other units and, just before the outbreak of war in 1914, the fleet comprised 12 motor coaches and a number of taxis.

It was, however, not until the termination of the war. that the company seriously set about employing motors for this purpose, and it was then re. solved to build up if modern fleet adequate to meet the needs of visitors to a town which is essentially a pleasure resort.

The present "White Lounge" coach fleet comprises about 30 machines, all being small-capacity units which, it may he mentioned, are in great demand locally. Incidentally, all these vehicles are run on pneumatic tyres. T Is e fleet com prises 14-seater a n d 20-seater machines, and is largely composed of Lancias, with a number of Ms:mislays and Ausiins, which was bought last year. In the opinion of the managing director, Mr. E. FL Robinson, the Austin is an ideal vehicle for the high class of work done by the company, and the machines at present in service have given excellent results.

To house this extensive fleet, the company has recently had built a large new garage in Vine Street, which has cost over fi0,000. It is completely equipped with the most up-to-date machinery for repairs, overhaulS and maintenance, and a modern washing plaut is provided, together with an adequate storeroom for accommodating a wide range of spares.

The scheme of co-operation with the railway company, which was inaugurated a few years ago, has been productive throughout of excellent results. Discussing this co-operation, Mr. Robinson said that the railway company was naturally desirous of carrying to Scarborough as many people as possible, and it had realized that one of the most powerful inducements to visit the town which could be offered was that of suitable facilities for visitors to see the surrounding neighbourhood under congenial conditions. To this end, Scarborough had been made widely known by attractive posters extolling the merits of the town as a holiday resort, and, in particular, the advantages of the joint rail-and-coaching arrangements had been stressed. Incidentally, it may be noted that at the height of the summer season the town, which has a resident population of only about 50,000, receives as many as 150,000 visitors.

The road company has an admirably situated central stand in the station yard, and in respect of this it holds a monopoly for coaching purposes. Apart from meeting trains at the station, the company's coaches also pick up passengers and parties by arrangement at a number of neighbouring stations and convey them to favourite moorland and seaside resorts. All this is provided at fares which are inclusive of travel by rail and road.

As Scarborough coach owners cater almost exclusively for visitors-the great majority of the residents is 'too busy in the holiday season to indulge to any great extent in touring for pleasure-most of the business is in the nature of day trips, and there is virtually no extended touring traffic from the town.

Coaches employed on whole-day tours leave the station yard at 10 a.m., those on half-day trips at 2.15 p.m., and evening runs, which form an extremely popular feature of the local trade, are timed to start at 6 p.m.

Scarborough is fortunately free from one of the most unpleasant and common troubles of coaching centres-that of rate-cutting. Of competition there is plenty, but all owners take a sane view of the business and decline to run at a figure which does not permit them to maintain their vehicles in high-class order and to obtain a reasonable rate of profit. The average day tour costs from 6s. 6d. to Ss, 6d., the half tour about 4s., and short evening runs, which usually cover a mileage of about 20, are worked at reduced rates, as otherwise the vehicles would be idle.

The last-mentioned average about 2s. Per passenger,

The evening tours enable coach owners to spread their standing charges over a bigger mileage, an important point in a town such as Scarborough, where the season is naturally short. It may be mentioned that the local coaching season extends from Whitsuntide-or perhaps a week or two before then if weather conditions are favourable-to the end of September.

Above is giver, a list of the most popular of the "White Lounge" coach

tours, some of which are operated in conjunction with the time-table of the railway company.

The Filey, Forge Valley and Hayburn Wyke tours are also popular morning and evening runs.

The company issues a most attractive handbook giving particulars of its tours, and this stresses in a concise manner the advantages of travelling by specially appointed coaches where holiday trips are concerned.

A feature which finds favour with patrons is that each coach is photographed before it sets out on its journey and prints are available for sale when it arrives back on the stand.

This arrangement has a useful publicity value, for the pictures are subsequently displayed by the holiday makers to their friends in all parts of the country, many of whom may later visit Scarborough.

The concern is justly proud of its good reputation and much is done to preserve this factor by the careful selection of drivers. Each season the fleet carries many thousands of passengers, and it is stated that the company's coaches have not had an accident in the past five years.


People: Robinson
Locations: Austin, London

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