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Should Passenger Traffic Bear a Tax if Goods Traffic is Exempt?
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR: 11430] Sir,—My principal point in regard to increasing fares lies in the fact that in most instances of my company's services' running in country districts, the fares are governed by railways, trams and other competitive interests. To raise the fares would really be quite impossible, as it would kill the "travel habit" on which we depend. . I cannot say too strongly that the suggestion to raise fares is out of the question.
It would appear that there is an idea existing that a compromise on the question of mileage payments to road authorities might be made by agreeing that such levies are justifiable in the case of passenger vehioles only. I could not think of a more unhappy or unfair solution of the question.
The advocacy in your paper of the claims of commercial motors, both passenger and goods vehicles, has been such in the past that I trust you will see your way to extend your support to the owners of passenger vehicles in connection with this matter.— Yours faithfully, E. B. HUTCHINSON. Lowestoft.
The proposals for extra taxation do not originate with us. They are advanced by the County Councils Association. Our correspondent must remember, however, that the L.G.B. Committee is not directly concerned with taxation : a joint committee of both Houses has been promised to investigate that subject. We doubt if effective legislation is likely within two years. All new demands will be fought, and they may successfully be narrowed. One economic difference between a tali on passenger vehicles and a tax on goods vehicles is this : the former is a concern with 'single transactions, at once completed, on a cash-down basis ; the latter involves all the undesirable features of indirect taxation.—Ea.] Rubber or Steel Tires in Relation to Different Classes of Roads.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL 21/10TOR.
 Sir —I was interested to read the letter from Mr. G. F. Fry, Junr., in your issue of the 3rd inst. and your editorial comment thereon.
I cannot agree with your contention that the question at issue is not so much the wear upon water
bound macadam roads as upon the up-to-date surfaces and crusts which are held by pitch or bitumen. The question upon which we require enlightenment is the comparative wear produced upon main roads in general by steel and rubber tires respectively.
At the present moment the greater part of the main roads in this country are composed of ordinary macadam without the admixture of pitch or bitumen, and in most districts when repairs are undertaken they are effected with similar materials to those of
which the road is composed. If the use of tarmacadam (which it is admitted, without question, is superior to ordinary macadam), were general, your contention would be correct, but it is not so, and we must therefore deal with things as they are.
Even, however, allowing for the manifest advantages of tar-macadam, I strongly hold the opinion that even on this medium the rubber tire is more destructive than the steel tire.
My opinion is based on observation for several years of the effect produced on various roads by a composite fleet of heavy motor vehicles, of which approximately one-half are solid-rubber tired and the remainder steel tired. The vehicles run year in and year out on various fixed routes embracing different types of road. The principal main roads leading out of Manchester on the north are paved for varying distances entirely with granite setts, and these, or at least those of them that are well laid, are the only roads in the district that have successfully resisted the action of all kinds of traffic.
Certain of these roads are continued as macadam roads and upon such continuations the wear is very much greater where rubber-tired traffic predominates than it is 'where steel-tired traffic predominates. On the south side of the city the granite-sett paving does not, with one exception, extend very far, and it is continued in some places with ordinary macadam, in others with tar-macadam. The effect of solidrubber tires upon both of these materials is very marked, more particularly, of course, upon the ordinary macadam, but I have no hesitation in expressing the opinion that tar-macadam does not for long withstand the wear of solid rubber tires. It is well nigh impossible to substantiate an opinion with concrete cases, since no two roads are alike, in material, nor in the quantity of traffic they bear, and, of course, all roads are used both by steel and rubber-tired vehicles in varying proportions.
My observations have, however, convinced me that there is only one class of road that will successfully resist the action of all traffic, and that is the welllaid granite-sett road. Macadam and tar-macadam will not successfully resist steel-tired traffic for long, but rubber-tired traffic is far more fatal to them.— Yours faithfully, R. REYNOLDS,. Traffic Department, Bleachers' Association, Ltd. Manchester.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—Further to my remarks upon the above subject, and your criticism in a leader in your issue of 3rd June, I should like some of the leading writers, upon the construction of roads and damage done to same by steel and rubber tires, to inspect Norman Road, Greenwich, which runs past our wharf. Very few by-roads, if any, in London and the suburbs, have so much vehicular traffic pass over them during any day. Most of this traffic is of the heavy steel-tired type, including, as it does, our large fleet of Foden wagons, with trailers—some of which are travelling over Norman Road continuously during the day with road material from our wharf to various councils. Then there are many other wagons which use this road from the various wharves adjoining same. Very small indeed is the number of rubber-tired vehicles using this thoroughfare—being off the main road. It migh be as well to mention that there is also a continuous stream of steel-shod carts and vans passing up and down, Yet this road is just as good as when it was laid and, if anything, seems to improve with use—by steel-tired vehicles. Perhaps some of the leading road authorities-who are inclined to apportion the blame for damage to roads chiefly to the steel-tired vehicles—will take the trouble to come and survey this road. They will be amply repaid for their energies and will forever lose sight of that " steeltired bogey " which has—in their opinions—been playing such havoc with their ideal road surfaces. Norman Road is no illusion of a road crank—it is good, hard, sound and solid fact
So convinced is my firm that steel-tired vehicles are not only not detrimental to road surfaces, but really roll and improve them, that we will guarantee to lay a road of a, desired length—or provide the specification for the road and supervise the laying— which will stand all the steel-tired traffic which the road authorities care to pass over it, any size, any quantity, any weight, and at any speed. The heavier the vehicle—fitted with the proper tires—the better we should like it and the nicer the road would get. There is only one stipulation we should make and that is that no rubber-tired vehicles be allowed to pass over this road whilst being tested If the road authorities accept our challenge we will guarantee to give them an ideal road—which will last for years— and which will prove far more economical than the roads at present being laid down all over the country.
Before any drastic measures are taken with regard to penalizing the steel-tired heavy motor, I consider that this class of vehicle should at least be given the opportunity of proving—once and for all—that it is wrongly blamed when the onus for damaged roads is placed to its charge on account of overloading. At the present moment—with the multitudinous rubber-tired vehicles covering the same ground, but not making such a noise, it is practically impossible to prove to everyone's satisfaction which tire is the pirate-of-the-road. Separate the traffic and proof is abundant and conclusive I—Yours faithfully, GEO. F. FRY, Jux.
[Will Mr. Fry state the average angle of cross-fall on the road to which he refers ?—En.)
•  Sir,—I as very pleased to see in your last week's issue a letter from a Lancashire buyer pointing out the stupid ratings given by various makers to their chassis. To further the arguments expressed by your correspondent, I might point out that I was recently in the market for a commercial-vehicle, and, of course, before making my choice I had numerous specifications submitted. Some of them were quite clear to me, but others I could not understand. For instance, one maker submitted particulars of a 30-40 cwt. machine. Candidly I did not understand what this figure meant. I do not now. Needless to say I turned this machine down on account of this rating. I may have lost a good vehicle, but the manufacturer certainly lost the order.—Yours faithfully, "SMALL USER IN A BIG CITY."
American Load Rating.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
 Sir,—We were interested to read Mr. Sturmeys article "Concerning American Trucks," in your issue of the 10th June. We feel that his remarks are not strictly correct with regard to the comparison of American and English load ratings. Mr. Sturmey points out the difference between the American ton and English ton, and coneludes from this fact that American one-ton vehicles have a less carrying capacity than an Eng'ish one-ton vehicle. In our experience (as representing the Garford Co.— the oldest makers of American commercial vehicles) the American maker very considerably underrates the carrying capacity of his vehicle. For example, many chassis which might reasonably be expected to carry a load of 20 to 30 cwt. are very often sold as three-quarter-ton. Similarly, the most robust-looking two-tonner is still 3000 lb. capacity.
i Our belief s, that owing to the overloading tendency of the American user, and also by reason of the badness of the American city streets, makers are compelled to allow a larger margin of safety on the loading, with the result that, quite contrary to Mr. Sturmey's suggestion, the American load rating for any particular vehicle is less than would be considered reasonable for the same vehicle in this country.—Yours faithfully, WILLYS-OVERLAND LTD.
JOSEPH A. MACKLE, Director.
[Without prejudice to Mr. Mackle's case, we are neverthele4s of the opinion that some considerable care is needful, when selecting American-made chassis, with respect to their load-carrying capacities. Several cases are within our knowledge, of agents presuming on the alleged capacity for overload possessed by such vehicles, in addition to interpreting the ton as 2240 lb. What guarantee has a buyer that ascertained U.S.A. ratings are used on this side ?—Lo.]