Chancellor is Asked to Receive Industry Sets Up Operators Fares
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Question Fluid New Records A PPLICATION has been made by PA the Public Transport Association, the Municipal Passenger Transport Association and the Passenger Vehicle Operators' Association for a deputation to meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer in order to state the industry's case against the increased fuel tax. The cost to the passenger transport industry of this impost will approach 1:7,000,000.
On Monday "The Commercial Motor" was informed that so far nothing definite had been heard concerning the application, it is also understood that the normal practice in these matters is that a deputation would meet either the Minister of State, Mr. Gaitskell, or the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Douglas Jay.
Workmen's" Fares Withdrawn
baced• with additional expenditure on fuel alone ot £45,000 annually as a result of the Budget, 'Newcastle Transport Committee is recommending an application for increased fares for all ,services on which fares remained
unchanged after October, 1948. All ordinary single fares from 3d. upwards would be affected and return fares would be raised; workmen's fares would lac withdrawn. The increases would bring in £28.000 a year.
These measures, if granted, would-be insufficient to meet the situation, and uneconomic services would have to be reduced, The Transport Committee has, however, given an assurance that no reductions would be made without a thorough examination.
Nottingham Transport Department will be faced with an estimated deficit of £97,600 at the end of the current financial year. The increased price of uel will, it has been stated, cost £38,000 a year, or €36,000 during the current financial year, in which a deficit of £61.600 had already been expected.
In addition, the department is losing 1.1,000 each week that the decision on its application for an increase in fares is delayed. The 'application, the fourth inude by the department, was heard in January.
Grimsby Corporation fares were increased last week, following an appli cation made last October. Workers' fares and certain ordinary fares were increased and some day returns abolished. These revised charges will not, however, solve the department's difficulties, for the higher fuel price will raise costs by £8,000 a year. Negotiations are in progress for increased pay for drivers, conductors and maintenance staff, which, if granted, would cost approximately £12,000 a year. .
Although no change in the. undera taking's fares structure has taken place in 20 years Rochdale Transport Department will now have to find another £20,000 a year as a result of the extra 9d. a gallon on fuel.
Forty coach operators in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, meeting at Sheffield last week, decided not to seek increased fares at present, as many bookings had already been accepted for the summer.
Taxi-owners at Bournemouth, taking a similar view, decided not to increase fares, for fear that 'higher prices would reduce custom. Blackpool taxi operators, however, have been granted an increase of 6d. per journey.
Following a meeting of the National Taxi-car Association, last week, the chairman, Mr. E. H. Pinto, stated that the heavy burden imposed on the trade by the Budget must perforce he passed
on to the public. For, several years,
fares on private-hire work had remained substantially at Is. a mile. During this time, operators had to absorb in their operating costs, rising car prices and maintenance costs, higher wages, the National Insurance scheme. etc. The increased fuel tax was the final blow.
Hull Trade Hit In a memorandum to the two local Labour Members of Parliament, Major C. G. Genders, secretary of the Yorkshire (Hull) Area of the Traders' Road Transport Association, pointed out the effect that the Budget would have on the city. Hull was more remote from main consuming areas than comparable cities, and the extra fuel tax would have a proportionally bigger adverse effect on its trade.
Remarking that when Hull docks were busy, a shortage of railway wagons arose, Major Genders said that if the increased price of fuel drove traffic to an already overburdened rail service, this shortage would be accentuated. "Ti) give good service," he said. "Hull traders may have to use more road vehicles."
ALL records for commercial-vehicle output and exports were broken in March; 5,300 units a week were built and nearly 13,000 were shipped in the month. "This March consignment to overseas buyers confirms the commercial-vehicle industry's position as the world's largest exporter of trucks and buses," said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders in ,a recent statement.
MORE AREA SCHEME OPPOSITION INTEREST in the Government's plans for the passenger transport industry has not diminished. At Cheltenham, recently, a new branch of the Omnibus Passengers' Protection Association was formed, as part of the Central England section of the Association.
After considering the views of seven district councils, Hertfordshire County Council has rejected as unlikely to procure any improvement in existing services, the proposed scheme for the eastern area. Only two of the councils concerned, Letchworth and Bishop's Stortfard, were dissatisfied with the existing services, it was stated, but both felt that the proposed scheme would be no improvement.
LIVERPOOL "STICKS" AT £3 8s.
IT has been decided by Liverpool Highways and Planning Committee that hauliers whose services will be engaged will be those who offer rates of and under £3 8s. per day. Further transport may be hired from those quoting charges of not more than £3 10s. per day LAND-ROVER FREE OF P.T.?
THE imposition of purchase tax on
the Land-Rover is under consideration. Representations have been made on the basis that it is primarily an agricultural vehicle. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Stafford Cripps, gave this information, last week, in the House of Commons.