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R.H.E. Not to Increase its Fleet

19th May 1950, Page 32
19th May 1950
Page 32
Page 32, 19th May 1950 — R.H.E. Not to Increase its Fleet
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Restrictions Placed on 7,125 Permits Out of 11,000 Granted THE Road Haulage Executive has no intention of increasing its fleet in an effort to create a surplus of vehicles. All new purchases of vehicles are for replacements. Major-Gen. G. N. Russell, chairman of the Executive, gave this assurance at a Press conference in London, last week.

Defending the Executive's policy with regard to permits, he said that no undertaking had ever been given that they would be granted high, wide and handsome." Of the 11,000 permits granted, 3,800 were issued in the terms sought by the applicants and 7,125 in part. Six thousand applications had been refused. Sixteen were outstanding.

Major-Gen. Russell said that acquisitions had almost been completed and that an interim period had been entered, in which consolidation would take place and policy on the renewal of permits would be reviewed. Good progress had been made in some areas, but in others it was slow, because of the difficulty of obtaining premises. The Executive was trying to find accommodation in Covent Garden to facilitate the handling of fruit and vegetable traffic.

Surcharge of 7+ Per Cent.

Referring to the increase in rates, announced in "The Commercial Motor" last week, he said that customers' accounts would be endorsed with a surcharge of 71 per cent. Many of the rates charged by concerns taken over had been uneconomic.

Satisfactory progress was being made in consultations with the Railway Executive, particularly on the question of vehicle maintenance. Already, maintenance was being carried on in several combined road-rail workshops. The boundaries of R.H.E. divisions were being aligned as far as possible with those of the Railway Executive.

The R.H.E. was well satisfied with the experiment, which had been in progress for a year, of carrying smalls traffic by rail from London to Manchester. Carter Paterson bulked the goods in containers, which were placed on a train leaving London at 6 p.m., arriving at Stockport at 3.30 a.m. next day. Twenty-one tons a night passed in this way.

Road-Rail Co-operation The R.H.E. carried the containers on mechanical horses to and from the railhead, and distributed the goods over a fairly wide area around Manchester. In addition, 6 tons of smalls were sent by trunk road vehicle every night from London to Manchester. This vehicle carried traffic delivered too late for the rail service or unsuitable for transport by rail. •

The railways were using the resources of the R.H.E. in zonal collection schemes. Co-operative working between the two Executives was already. in progress in Salisbury and Ipswich, and experiments were under consideration at Warrington and Portsmouth.

Replying to certain criticisms of the Executive, Major-Gen. Russell said that loads should be booked with depot managers, and not with drivers.

A30 Drivers must report to depots and not seek traffic as free-lance agents.

A panel of experts, presided over by Mr. N. C. McPherson, North Eastern divisional manager, had been investigating the efficiency of working in some groups. As a result, improved systems had been introduced. Further inquiries would be undertaken in the near future.

The amount of paper-work to be done was being "watched most carefully" and economies had been effected. Major-Gen. Russell denied that drivers were being overloaded with documents.

The Executive was preparing interim. conditions of carriage and a further meeting with the Traders' Co-ordinating Committee on Transport-was held last week.

R.H.E. Not a Competitor The chairman disputed the argument that hauliers had to approach their principal competitor for permits. The R.H.E., he said, was not a competitor in the long-distance field. The Executive was given a monopoly of long-distance haulage by Parliament and free hauliers could exceed a radius of 25 miles only by the grace of the R.H.E.

Alluding to criticisms which had been made of the Executive for issuing permits allowing traffic to be carried only one way, Major-Gen. Russell said that permits had been granted in those terms if the haulier had asked to carry traffic one way, or if he could not justify a more liberal grant by the work he was doing at present. Decisions had been reached on the basis of information given by applicants for permits and on the evidence of their operations as revealed in their applications for licences.

The position of the haulier in applying for licences was unchanged. Objections to applications had alw.ays been lodged, and the R.H.E. must protect its own interests. The State transport undertaking had gained an entry into short-distance work and into the realms of excluded traffic through the acquisition of haulage businesses, on the purchase of which public money had been spent. In the public interest, that traffic must be retained.

Record figures were achieved by Middlesbrough Transport Department buses in the year ended March 31 last. They carried 46,000,000 passengers and ran 3,030,000 mites,

B.T.C. Senior Staff Criticized

-Cl RESOLUTION criticising appoint ments within the British Transport Commission was rejected at the Scarborough conference of the Railway Clerks' Association this week.

Concern was expressed at the "many appointments made by the B.T.C. to executive positions of persons who have always been opposed to nationalization, and who cannot by this attitude confidently he expected to fill their positions in a manner conducive to the smooth and efficient operation of the Road Haulage Executive."

Mr. W. H. Johnson, Chiswick, said that much of the dissatisfaction and distress of workers in nationalized industries arose because the "same old gang" was running affairs. •He made particular reference to the London Transport Executive.

Mr. G. B. Thornycroft. general secretary of the Association, said that London Transport set an example of unparalleled efficiency, and he was surprised that a member of its staff should associate himself with generalizations about it.

The resolution, he said, gave little indication of the appointments in question. The Association was concerned with the efficient conduct of the industry by the best available men. The conference decided to change the name of the Association to the Transport Staffs' Association.


A CHANGE of Government would In.not necessarily affect the attitude of the House of Commons towards transport, as no political party had so far shown any real appreciation of, the problems which existed. Col. A. Jerrett. M.Inst.T.. chairman of the Traders' Road Transport Association, made this statement last week at the annual meeting of the London and Home Counties Area of the Association.

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