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17th August 1920, Page 21
17th August 1920
Page 21
Page 22
Page 21, 17th August 1920 — CHAR-A-BANCS NEWS AND COMMENTS.
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Matters of Topical Interest to Proprietors of Motor Coaches,.

The First Pneumatic-tyred Motor Coach in Wales.

REST has recently been aroused

among motor coach proprietors in North Wales by a 23-seated Leyland. char-à-banes of the new Model C type, which is fitted with Michelin 955 min. by 155 mm. pneumatic tyres. The vehicle is owned by Messrs. J. Frederick Francis and Sons, of Colwyn Bay, and is in great demand bythe lieildhysifeicerg -in -the -Its. trict. Although it is early to formulate any. decisions regarding.the advantages of pneumatiotyres in the long run for heavy passenger work, those who have ridden in the machine are hood in its -praises from the point of view of smooth running and comfort,.

We were recently afforded an opportunity of making a run on the vehicle from Colwyn Bay to Snowdon and Llanberis, whioh proved thoroughly. enjoyable The route lay through j.,lanrwst, a delightful view being obtained of the Conway valley, crossing the old stone bridge over the river, a run of half-amile 'brought us borthe Conway road, passing Gwydir Castle. " The whole of the four miles to Betty'sy-Coed provides a beautiful drive under the trees, at the end of which we emerged at the Pont-y-pair (the Bridge of the Cauldron), the view from which has probably been photographed more than any other spot in Wales. From here the road follows the course of the Llugwy, allowing a glimpse of the Miners' Bridge, to the Swallow Falls, where a halt was made. A small fee is charged here to view the Falls, said to be the finest in Wales.

-. Two miles further on is Pont-y-gyfyog, under w.ich the' Lingwy falls in a pretty cascade. Passing Moel Siabod on the left behind a screen of fir treds, we turned along the shores of Oapel Curig Lake, -with the peaks of Snowdon immediately in front, while little lower are the surrounding giants of Grib Cinch, Carnedd Ugan, and Lliwedd.

At the juncture of the Beddgelert and Llanberis roads is the Pen-y-gwryd hotel, and a finer situation for a mountain hotel would be hard to find. The hotel nestles snugly at the foot of Glyder Fach, which is 3.262 ft. above sea level. Between the•Pen-y-gwryd hotel and Pen-ypass-a magnificent view is obtained of the Gwynant Valley leading to Bedelgelert, while at, the foot is the lake of that name.

The inn on Llanberis Pass marks the

summit, 1,160 ft. high, and with the engine acting as an additional brake we quickly descended towards Llanberis the lakes, of which are seen in the distance. At either side of the road are huge boulders, many of them ?blinded and showing the scars of glacial action in bygone periods.

At the hotel here lunch awaited us, with views of Llyn Pattern glittering in the sun to be seen through the open French windows of the dining-room. A short stroll brought us to the ruins of Dolbadarn Castle another interesting feature of this spa.

We put on speed to Carnarvon, where a glimpse of the castle and some fine views of the Menai Straits provide the traveller with a, further reward for his energy.

From this point the coast is followed to Conway, and so back to Colwyn Bay, a distance of about 100 miles having been covered during the day. In spite of the very had condition of some of the roads, an examination revealed only a few small cuts on the near-side wheels. The treads of all the tyres showed no signs of wear at all, while the heat of the tyres after 40 miles' continuous running was not much above normal atmospheric heat,

Certainly the appearance of the vehicle is greatly enhanced by these tyres, and the vehicle is the object of considerable admiration on its daily journeys.

Points for Char-a-bancs Owners.

An Analysis of a Series cal Interviews on Matters of Common Interest.

I N Liverpool yen cannot get more than minimum rates for char-abanes birings.

A lot of authorities are-making charsa-banes keep to the main roads. This is a matter for the owners' associations to take up jointly.

When drivers are should pay, the fine? prosecuted, who Our opinion is that it all depends on the discretionary powers given to drivers by the employers.

If a driver is told to keep within the limits of the law at all cents, then, of course, if be is summoned, he has only himself to blame.

But if he is encouraged to take risks —well, the owners are not free from responsibility.

Owners should get together and discuss the matter amongst' themselves.

A Lancashire driver the other day was fined £15 for driving at 14 miles per how.

Another matter concerning all owners is the alarming disparity in labour con ditions.

We spoke to a man the other day who s.oldenly discovered he was paying-4£1 per week more than friendly "coach competitors.

Scnie firms pay for time Icst through illness, overtime, give holidays, gniunnites 52 weeks' work, and pay for lunch ftrid tea when out of town—others dent.

Not all owners pay for Sunday work. Some pay £1, ,

One firm we know psovides in the contracts for meals to .1.1ensupplied tn. the drivers, . free of all cost by picnic parr es—and they do it cheeifully,


We recently heard of a driver who made £20 in one week in " tips" from passengers

And of ntunerous instances where men over a period • of several weeks have, from the same source, accumulated an average of between £10 and £15 a week.

. Next yeas', it is said, we shall find the weak links in the chars-a-banes industry.

Why f The effect of legislative -proposals?

Is it not time the various char-i-bancs owners' associations throughout the • country put their heads together and formed a Parliamentary Committee?

What should constitute a Ininimum load for a char-a-basses?

. We have heard 8, 10 and 20 -mentioned, but we know one owner running a regular service who would take one person.

Recently a party of five turned Up for an advertised char.-banes excursion, but they were conveyed by private car.

We have yet to hear of a single case where an owner has not fulfilled a contract.

There have, however, been many instances where owners have had just cause for not doing so: Nevertheless, chat -ii-lbancs owners

should get together, keep together, and -Work together,

There is lots for them to de.

For instance, what about a common 'form of hiring contract?

Motor. chars-a-bancs were big competitors with the tramcars in faking visitors to the Lancashire Agricultural Show at Bolton. Business was done in such vehicles as well as in ploughs, and the Denton 2.1n-openative Society, which has a Daimler char-a-bancs in "day 'service, purchased a Vulcan cliar-a-bancs at the Bolton Show.

Manchester Coach Regulations.

SOME idea of the .intense feeling that the Corporation of Mancheatei' • has for ifs 'tramways was evidenced at the. meeting when the Watch' Committee's regulations for chars-k-basses

came up lor cornimation. Alderman Ray, whose splendid help in connection with the war-time use oi gas aS a motor vehicle fuel' is still

remembered, stipported. a .proposal that the 'owners 'ofchars-a-banes -should only be allowed to use :the. new standing places " for journeys of a minimum. of eight miles from the town hall, or round runs of not less than 15 miles: Special permission for_ shorter journeys would have to be obtained, and such., it was hinted, might tie necessary in the-event of another tram strike.

But, Alderman Carter, M.P., went further, and explained that such brat tatiOn was necessary as protection for

the trains. and ordinary licensed vehicles. The Watch Committee wanted

to restrict the number of passengers to 28, but this was overruled in favour of a proposal that they should be kept to

the number permitted in the licence. Bunh a provision is wise, for there is being built at Swinton, one of Manchester's -stsburbs, a char-k-bancs body to accommodate 38. Amowst the new regulations it is provided that every vehicle shall „carry

' proper repair outfit, including spans parts," and that the extreme measurements are to be 24 it. in length, and 7 ft. 6, ins, in width, and a wheelbase of 14 ft. 6 ins; Noise and vibration are to be kept down, fire extinguishers have to be carried, and the bodies must be kept 'properly painted and Varnished. August Bank Holiday saw the beginning of a great system of chars-il-banes running from Manchester in .daily service from • municipally-appointed stands.

As foreshadowed in a recent interview. with Mr. Norman Robinson, of the Manchester Team Owners' Association, six central positions have been appointed by t,ho Highway Coaches Committee, and various firms are now running daily trips from some of these.

Mr. Harry Davies is running evening trips from the Portland Street end of.. Piccadilly, as well as a Saturday and. Sunday service to Blackpool. Stevenson 'Square has bean selected as Cho starting point for.Wednesday and Thursday runs. by Messrs. Peter Burke and Sons' conches. From here, too, is running the daily service at 810 a.m. of the Ensign 'Fleet Motors 10 Black. pool. Another Stevenson Square service is that daily irons Tuesday to Friday to Southport. The Buck Swift Fleet Motors, Ltd., have taken premises at Pa, Peter Square, for the institution of a waiting-room station. On Rank Holiday the daily Blackpool service Efegan with motorcoaches leaving St. Peter's Square at 8.15 a.m., 1.15 p.m. and 5.45 p.m., the return services being at 8.30 a.m., 1.15 p.m., and. 5.30 p.m. On Mondays, Fridays, and .Saturnlays the service will also be extended to North Wales. In this connection advance bookings are already the rule, as all seats on the runs to Llandudno and Colwyn Bay are alreddy booked for August. The otner points at which the Cur' poration is authorizing the Stationing of chars-a-bancs are at' Devombire Street (All Saints), the Princess Road end of Moss Lane East, and the Alexandra Park gates.

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