The public has to pay
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• At the resumed hearing of the Northern area and Yorkshire area Traffic Commissioners in Durham last Friday, Mr Wilfred Steer, representing 37 local authorities in Northumberland, Durham and North Yorkshire, opposing a fares increase application by the United Automobile Services Ltd of between Id and 3d, said the application was "vastly too high and out of reason". The increases, which were granted, come nine months after a similar application by the company and it is expected that other companies will follow suit.
Mr Steer said the increases would mean a total increase of 17 per cent in the past two years and local authorities were not flatly objecting to the increases but were proposing modifications.
For the company, Mr J. L. R. Croft said the increased revenue that the company would receive—£832,000—would go in off-setting higher operating costs, including wages, and United was only seeking to restore the financial position it was in prior to the increases awarded last October.
Mr J. A. T. Hanlon, the chairman of the Northern area Traffic Commissioners, said they had a great deal of sympathy for the hardship that it might cause to old people, but, he said, "the brutal facts are that the public has to pay for a public service".