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Status of Road Transport Much Improved

19th December 1941
Page 18
Page 18, 19th December 1941 — Status of Road Transport Much Improved
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

WHILE chatting last week with Mr. H. Shankland, President of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, he made a remark which we consider to be so significant as to justify recording. It was to the effect that the road-transport industry is now receiving greater consideration in what we may term higher circles, because it is being increasingly realized there that it is taking a large and'even vital part in the war effort.

What a pity it is that the leaders of the Nation appeared to have, in pre-war days, such a poor estimate of the important role which our industry would be called upon to play in a time of emergency such as that in which we are now involved.

However, tardy as is this recognition, at least it bodes well for the future of road transport. No longer will it be possible to delude the general public into the view that the commercial vehicle, whether it be used for haulage or for ancillary purposes, is a somewhat dangerous and unnecessary impediment on our roads.

No one is in a position to foresee what conditions will be like in the immediate and later post war periods, but there is little doubt that road transport will be called upon tO put its best wheels forward. The work of reconstruction alone will demand the services of a huge fleet on tasks which could not possibly be performed exclusively by the t ailways.

If, as appears probable, any great scheme of highway construction be put into operation, both to absorb labour and to improve our means for communication, then, here again, vehicles to carry thousands of tons of material will be required for a period no doubt extending into several years. It may be worth noting at this point that such vehicles would certainly have to be capable of transporting fairly heavy loads, and many of them would need to be equipped with tipping gear.

There is another factor. The Government has stated that it is its intention to continue the encouragement of agriculture, and with better wages and improved outlets for the produce at more economic prices, there may be something like a return to the land. This would mean the further development of rural areas, with the consequent need for improved transport facilities for passengers, goods, produce and materials.

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