PASSENGER TRAVEL NEWS.
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The Latest Doings and Developments in the Bus and Coach World.
BRADFORD'S RAILLESS EXPERIENCE.
Parliamentary Sanction Being Sought For for the Use of a Six-wheeled Vehicle.
ACCORDING to the 1921-22 report of the Bradford Corporation Tramways Cornmittee nine miles of trackless trolley route are now in operation and 19 vehicles are in service. The report contains much interesting matter relative to the development and use of trolley-buses and that part referring to the six-wheeled vehicle which has been constructed by the corporation itself is of importance in so far as it indicates a combined progression of two modern ideas—the trolley-bus and the sixwheeled vehicle.
The report states that the income from the railless vehicles during the year was 821,317, or 13.832d. per car-mile, compared with 221,383 or 13.243d. per carmile the previous yeas. Working expenses were 229,585, or 19.067d. a carmile, compared with 233.225 or 20.576d. for the previous year. The deficit was 210,451, compared with the previous year's deficit of 214,221. This year six new vehicles of the oneman type will be put in service, and they should effect a considerable saving. Some of the routes operated by minors vehicles have not sufficient population to serve to make them self-supporting, but in some instances they act as feeders to the tramways and are, therefore, not really losing the amount indicated by the returns.
Whilst the majority of the trolley. buses in the service of the corporation are of the single-deck type, a fourwheeled double-deck vehicle is in service,
and this, during the past year, ran 26,778 miles out of the 569,888 covered by the railless vehicles altogether, and on which 2,911,653 passengers were carried during the 12 months.
In addition to these vehicles, the corporation has a six-wheeled double-deck bus, which has been constructed by the staff at the Thornbury works. This vehicle has a seating capacity of 59, and could be increased by at least six by utilizing the front portion of the upper deck immediately above the driver. There are three methods of braking on this bus, viz. : (1) A brake operated by the foot on to the countershaft and so to the back wheels; (2) by side lever operated by hand, which brakes both the back wheel and the rear front wheals; and (3) the reverse power brake, operated through the controller.
The wheels on this bus are 3 ft. 4 ins. in diameter, the back wheels being fitted with twin solid tyres. Fifty per cent. of the weight of the vehicle is on the back axle, and the remaining 50 per cent. is distributed equally between the two front axles., The vehicle weighs 7 tons • complete (without passengers), and the weight is distributed equally over the eight tyres. The front axles are fixed, and are not arranged on the bogey principle. The wheels alone move and are steerable, the four front wheels being connected to and operated by one steering gear. The front wheels are mounted on stub axles in the usual manner.
Trial runs have been carried out with this six-wheeled bus over gradients up to 1 in 9, and the performance of the vehicle has been eminently satisfactory. In a trial run over the tram route from Thornbury car depot to Cross Flatts, a distance of nine miles, an average speed of ten miles an hour was maintained.
Owing to the weight of this vehicle, however, the corporation is unable to put it into service, but Parliamentary authority is being sought to overcome this difficulty. The corporation is also anxious to introduce the trolley-bus on other routes, and an Order is being promoted for the purpose of enabling it to use trolley vehicles upon seven additional routes within the city boundary. Application is also being made to the Ministry of Health for a Provisional
Order partially to repeal, alter, or amend the Bradford Corporation Act, leeii0, Co as to enable the Ministry of Transport to grant Provisional Orders authorizing the use of tirolley vehicles upon say route or routes within the city, or partly within and partly without the city, as well as to grant the necessary berroiving powers to enable routes to be equipped and the vehicles and sheds to be provided.fifel3radford exhibits, commendable enterprise in passenger transport.
SMALL BUSES FOR REGULAR SERVICE.
A New Feature of the Activities of a North uf England Company.
WITH the trend of public opinion centring so largely at .present upon the smaller type of passengercarrying vehicle shod with pneumatic tyres, and the prominence which has been given to this class of vehicle in newspaper an•th other discussions during the past few weeks particular attention will now he directed upon those progies-. sive concerns who have recently experi. wonted, or who are about to carry out experiments, with the smaller vehicle, in order to obtain sonic idea of comparative running costs with -their larger coaches or buses, and also to find out the suitability of the lighter vehicle for use in emergencies.
-In this respect 'the putting on the road of six new 20-seater Daimler C.B.-type saloon omnibuses, provided with peenthatice, by the Northern-General Transport Co., Ltd., of Chester-le-Street, Co, Durham, will be watched with interest, because hitherto this 'class of tyre equipment has not been regarded with particu lar favour in that neighbourhood, and. the results obtained frog this experiment should furnish an indication as to their suitability over the heavy Northcountry roads. The Northern General Transport, Co., as is well known, operate something like 100 miles of highly useful motorbus_ routes, and .utilize a large fleet of Daimler buses, numbering about 100, but until taking delivery of these new buses their vehicles have previously been almoet entirely of large capacity. As will be Sftli from the accompanying illustration, the driver is partitioned off from the main body of the vehicle, this being also the case in the company's larger omnibuses. The smart, -white dome roof, together with the familiar red colouring of the lower portion of the
body, makes the outward appearance of the bus a particularly striking and neat one, quite in keeping with the general spick-and-span condition in which the remainder of the fleet is maintained.lAil the new buses are fitted with Michelin tyres, those at the rear being twins: The equipment of each also includes a C.A.V. lighting set.
Special attention has been given in the new vehicles to seating and upholstering, the cushions being doublesprung, and the seats being fitted with spring backs. Passengers enter by means of a door near the front on the left, side, and there is also an emergency door at the back of tho bus.
The utility of such a vehicle as that illustrated is by no means confined to work4along regular routes, for it can he used with completely satisfactory results for touring and pleasure party work. When the windows are lowered the lliJin features of the eemi-open type of vehela are' oblained, and passengers
are secure in the knowleds that, in the event of inclement. weather, they can he snugly enclosed and conveyed to their destination in complete comfort. Ae. matter of fact, one of the first tasks to which one of the, new buses was delegated was that of conveying a party on a seven days' toter around the Highlands of Scotland. Passengers expressed themselves as perfectly satisfied with the comfortable travelling throughout the Journey.
All six vehicles are being placed on the regular routes of the company, and they will undoubtedly move a step nearer to the attainment of the present demand of the road-travelling public fur smaller and faster vehicles, giving the maximum of comfort.
Lakeland Coach Traffic.
The qiteetion of Lakeland motor coach charges was fully surveyed by Lieut.-Col. P. M. Pape,. managing director of Pa. '8 Motor Coaches and Garages, ,, of Keswick,•on the orcaeion of the company's second annual dinner, which was recently held, and, in addition, the action of the Keswick Couw-ail in pmhibitiug outside proprietors from plyino for hire in the town was discussed from the standpoint of the local owners.
Lieut.-Cal. Pape, in proposing the toast, Success to the Firm," remarked that. the past. season had been one of the Wettest in their memories. Touching on the qaestion of the Keswick Urban Dis. trict Council refusing to grant licences to vehicles from outside the town to ply for hire in Keswick, he. said the ques: tion was a very •iarge and vexed one. He maintained that the Keswick owners, who were large ratepayers and large employers of labour, ought to have the support and encouragement-, and outside people should be kept away. Some of the councillors thought that competitiou wasneeded to bring prices down. In Keswick, he went on, prices were high for a certain reason. They had_ a very short _season, and for a large part of the year theil vehicle were not in use. There was, Ise stated, n.o combine or ring amongst. the motor and coach owners of Keswick. Reductions of prices would affect them all, for overhead thartes, salaries,. wages and such items would Mean, incidentally, less money to spend in the town. Therefore, if the council had permitted vehicles to come it from outside, it would have done a great injury to its own town.
Councillor G. W. Dent. (chairman of the council) mentioned that. the task fell to -him to give the deciding vote On the quest-ion raised, and he did so without fear or favour, but conscientiously. In his opinion, if they allowed motor vehicle.s to come into Keswick and take away 'their livelilmod they would be making a very bad rehire to those who_ were working for the good of the town.
Bridlington Town Council has had letters from the Dewsbury and District Char-it-banes Association and Mr. John Grocoek, of Sheffield, with reference to the action of the police in taking proceedings against the drivers of ehars-abanes and other heavy vehicles in respect of offences committed in exceeding the speed limit, and pointing. out that if the police continued to take iii..neeetlings it would have the effect of preventing . visitors coming to Bridlington by motor
"aclic; Th -corporation has replied that. the , Bridlington police are under the jurisdiction of the East Riding •County'Councii, and that consequently the Town Council has no Locus standi will-a-regard in the enforcement. of the :preVieione of the Heavy Motor Car Order.
TheGreat Western Railwayhave just issued three interesting .booklets dealing with the new road motor services which were instituted by the companyon October 2nd. They deal, respectively, with transport services by road and Tail in Cornwall Devonshire and South Wales, and include eomplete time-tables for train and road service connections. Details_ are also given of the parcels and goods services which are maintained by -the company's road motors. .