CONTROL OF THE USE OF SPIRIT AND GAS.
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The Latest Announcement Issued by the Board of Trade Concerning Grants of Petrol or Gas Permits to Commercial Vehicle Users.
IN DUR ISSUE of last week we summarized very briefly the new Motor Spirit and Gas Restriction , . Order dated 3rd January, 1918, and issued on the 9th January, and for the benefit of those who have not seen the complete Order we give certain extracts from it germane to the commercial incitor industry.
Trade Vehicle Defined.
The Order consolidates all previous Orders dealing with the use of motor spirit, and introduces the alternative fuel, gas, which, when used for motive purposes, now comes under the control contemplated in the Order, any form of gas capable of being used for driving internal-combustion engines being included; but as the Order deals only with the driving of motor vehicles, the consumption of gas for running-in and testing engines in a works is not embraced in the Order.
Defined in the Order in the terms familiar to our readers are "trade vehicle," "omnibus," " motorcab " and "hire car."
In sections 2 and 3 it is laid down that petrol or petrol substitute may only be used for the purposes to •he described if 'a motor spirit licence has been obtained from the Petrol Control Department of the Board of Trade, and that gas may only be so used if a gas permit has been granted by the same Department.
Limitations of Use: •
• The purposes set out (ignoring private cars, motor boats, etc.) are :— (1) For driving a trade vehicle for any purpose for which such vehicles may by law be driven.
(2) For driving an -omnibus in any service run during the calendar month immediately preceding the date of the Order, or upon any route certified _by the police authorities to be necessary or desirable in the interests of the travelling public. For ambulance, hospital or Red Cross work, military . or munitions service, or the conveyance of sick and wounded soldiers or sailors, and for conveyL38
ing persons, luggage or goods to or from a railway station or port. (3) For driving a inotoreab for any purpose within, the limits of the area where it is licensed to stand or ply for hire, and to or from any place , not more than three miles beyond the boundary of that area.
(4) For driving hired cars for certain limited and specific purposes.
Section 4 of the Order enacts that petrol, petrol substitute or gas may be used, inter alia, for driving a motor tractor or motor plough, a motor sweeping or watering machine, or other vehicle used for sanitary purposes, provided that petrol or petrol substitute must be obtained under the provisions of a motor spirit licence. The use of gas for these purposes is apparently free from the need for a permit.
The fuels cannot be used for journeys in connection with race meetings, games or sports, except by omnibuses plying for hire in the ordinary Way.
Vehicles fitted for the use of gas may be driven without a gas permit until the 9th February next. After that date a permit will be necessary.
Gas permits will not give the bolder a right to the supply of gas, but, where it is available, there is at present no intention to limit by licence the quantity that may be purchased. In this respect the supply of gas is not restricted as is the supply of motor spirit.
In no case will both a gas permit and a motor spirit licence be granted in respect of the same car ; but for every trade vehicle holding a gas permit a licence for the purchase of a small quantity of motor spirit will be granted for emergency porpoises, varying in amount according to the size and power of the vehicle, but in no case exceeding 4 gallons a month. In those areas where gas is .plentiful and easily available, it is possible that it will be substituted for motor spirit, the licences and permits being adjusted accordingly.