Authority's 'Principle' Questioned
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THE South Wales Licensing Authority's "general principle" of granting licences for pantomime trips only to licensed operators was condemned by Mr. D. Walters at an appeal hearing last week. He was representing Howells and Withers, Ltd., Pontllanfraith, who were appealing against the Authority's refusal to grant them a licence to operate trips to pantomimes at Cardiff, Newport and Pontypridd.
"If pantomime licences are issued only to the big stage-carriage operators, it is bound to create monopolies," said Mr. Walters. "My client had been providing the same, if not better, facilities as the big operators are able to provide, for the past 20 years.
" In the past," he continued, "it was not necessary to have a licence to handle pantomime traffic, and I submit that past service, whether legal or illegal, should be accepted as the basis of a claim to handle the traffic now.
"I do so because Parliament has 114 made it quite clear that it never intended the Road Traffic Act to mean that pantomime traffic should be licensed. Parliament intended that a special occasion should be special to those who attended the occasion, but now, because of certain judicial interpretations of the Road Traffic Act, licences for pantomime traffic are necessary."
After stating that, according to the Authority, private operators had captured pantomime traffic because they did not run unremunerative services, had negligible overheads and could run trips on routes on which regular operators could not compete, Mr_ Walters said that his clients had licences for four workmen's services and their overheads "can hardly be called negligible when they had to pay about £5,000 for a luxury coach."
The Western Welsh Omnibus Co., Ltd., and Red and White Services. Ltd., were among the objectors.