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18th March 1909, Page 13
18th March 1909
Page 13
Page 13, 18th March 1909 — Topics.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

News contributions are invited : payment witf he made on publication.

On 1st March last taxicabs cornmenced service in Toronto. The yehides have been supplied by the Berna Motor and Taxicab Company, Ltd.

Arrangements are in force at Exchange Station, Liverpool, whereby a service of taxicabs is assured to wouldbe fares from the station. One of the cab companies has a special telephone connection and an operator installed there. Lime Street Station is shortly to be similarly equipped.

Taxicab in a Tobogganing Fatality.

During the recent severe weather a tobogganing fatality occurred down an incline leading into St. George's Road, Glasgow. Three boys were sliding down the slope, which was covered with frozen snow, and at the bottom they dashed into a passing taxicab; one boy was killed and the other two were seriously injured.

Go-ahead Southport.

Action is being taken by a number of old residents in Southport to endeavour to ensure that taxicabs shall not be allowed in this ultra-respectable district. Complaint is being made that Southport's quietude, which has hitherto been presumed to be its greatest asset, is now rapidly corning to an end. A certain section of the inhabitants feels convinced that, if the street traffic in the town is allowed to increase, the chief charm of Southport will have disappeared. It is admitted that it is impossible to forbid the use of the highways to ordinary private motorcars, but it is felt that strenuous opposition can be offered to the introduction of the ubiquitous taxicab, at any rate, so far as local exploitation is concerned.

Aron Taximeters.

The General Electric Company, Limited, of Soa, Salusbury Road, Kilburn, which is the maker of the Aron taximeter, reminds us that it was this instrument which was recommended by the Cab Owners' Federation to its members, when first the question of fixingtaximeters to horse cabs was under discussion. Contracts for over 1,000 Aron instruments are already in . hand for this particular purpose, and, provided that the Home Secretary eventually decides to make the use of a fare-registering apparatus compulsory on all horse-drawn hackney carriages, the General Electric Company, Limited, anticipates that it will have to supply between 4,000 and 5,000 of its instruments under contract in the near future. Scarborough horse-cab proprietors are raising strenuous objections to the granting of taxicab licenses in the borough. On Friday last the Corporation refused the application for the present year, reserving freedom to amend this decision at any future date, if thought fit.

New Registration.

The Waterloo Taxicab Company, Limited, with an authorised capital of -,625,000, and with its office at Monument I louse, Monument Square, E.C., has been registered with the principal object of taking over a business now conducted by Mr. A. Pollkoff, at the Waterloo Garage, Chichester Street, Lambeth.

Birmingham Taxicabs.

Several complaints with regard to the taxicab charges in Birmingham have been sent direct to the Local Government Board by a private resident in Birmingham. Attention is drawn by him to certain supposed inaccuracies of the taximeters fitted to the motorcabs running in Birmingham. This complaint, which has been forwarded to the Birmingham Watch Committee for its consideration, has received no official confirmation.

At a meeting of the ‘Vatch Committee on Wednesday, the loth instant, it was reported that 12 further Siddeley taxicabs had been passed for service ; two of these belonged to the first batch of zo, and the other to were to use the new licenses to which we referred in our issue of the 4th instant. The additional cabs include some which have hitherto been running in Brighton for the Provincial Motor Cab Company.

Bath Licenses.

As has been the case in other provincial centres, the licensing authorities of Bath, nearly six months ago, postponed the granting of licenses for taxicabs, in order to afford the local cabdriver an opportunity of making preparations to accommodate himself to the new form of traffic. Licenses for four machines were next asked for by a London company, and the six months' respite then granted to the local drivers has now nearly elapsed. Applications for further 12 licenses have now been lodged by a local syndicate, and it seems possible that the delay which was originally intended solely in the interests of the local cabman is likely to be detrimental to the enterprise of the original applicants, who, we understand, were from the first prepared, as far as possible, to employ local labour.

Edinburgh residents are of opinion that the drivers of the taxicabs in that city should be better protected from the severe weather so often experienced in the northern capital.

Horse Taxicabs for London.

With a pathetic obstinacy, which it nas been hard for others to understand, the driver of the London horse cab has clung tenaciously to the obsolete methods of his kind. For many years the cab fare was a source of uncertainly to the passenger and thus of expanded earnings to the London

driver. His confreres in the Pro-. vinces have undoubtedly long been tarred with the same brush, but, in the course of many years' painful disgorging, we are inclined to award the palm for a keen and businesslike appreciation of the possibilities of the situation to the London cabby, with a possible exception in favour of the Dublin jarvey; of this latter class, indeed, it has been said, that no individual has ever yet received a fare which has satisfied him in toto. After an obstinate and fruitless struggle with the inevitable, the horse-cab driver has been forced to admit that a mechanical fare-registering apparatus is a reasonable requirement on the part of the public. Sheer hard facts have demonstrated to him that a passenger has a right to know exactly what he is buying, on any occasion, in the matter of service, and to insist that he will not pay more than the legal charge for such a convenience.

The officials of the -London Cab Drivers' Union and of the London Cab Proprietors' Federation, after prolonged discussion, have reached a basis of agreement of which we published the terms in our last issue. A joint letter has now been despatched from the two bodies mentioned above to the Home Secretary, who is therein asked to receive a deputation on the subject of the compulsory fitting of taximeters to all horse-drawn cabs in the Metropolis. Of course this action on the part of the horse-cab trade of London, although belated, has, since the first successful introduction of the taximeter, been inevitable. It may be remembered that a mass meeting of horse-cab drivers was held at the Euston Theatre in October, 1906, and the introduction of the taximeter was on that occasion condemned lock, stock

and barrel. In our report of that meeting we took occasion to indicate the futility of the drivers' conclusions. It has all along, been perfectly obvious that their only possible salvation rested with the taximeter.

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