COACHING ACTIVITIES IN NORTH WALES.
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Co-operation Amongst Proprietors in the Matter of Rates Schedules, The Plans and Intentions of the Prominent Owners.
THIS SEASON the Llandudno motor coach owners will make their bow to the public as a United organization, and so far back as February the local proprietors held a meeting at which they agreed upon the rates which are to rule this season at Llandudno. There are three separate schedules, the first of which is operative until June 6th, the second from June 7th until June 30th, and the third from July let until further
notice. , For the purposes of comparison it. may be useful to set out these rates in tabular form, giving, side by side, the advertised rates for two periods of last year :— It will be seen, therefore, that, so far as rates are concerned, there is not much change from last year. It is stipulated, however, that in regard to evening tours, which will be a regular daily feature, the mileage is not to exceed 20 miles return, the fare being 3s.
. With regard to the asPects of motor coaching from Llandudno, the Llandudno Coaching and Carriage Co., who control substantial fleets of Thornycroft coaches and buses, and who last year brought into use several new Dennis 23seaters with seats arranged in pairs arid with a unique hood arrangement, intend again to add to their fleet one or two more Dennis coaches of the same type. . When the new.Thornvcroft saloon 10.1606 now on order have been delivered, the strength of the company's fleet will be about 30 vehicles.
Most of the coaches are Tbornycroft vehicles built to seat 28 passengers, but since passengers do not like to be cramped for room, no more than four passe.ngers are carried in each row. The
new Dennis coaches are of the allweather type and have a central gangway, with seats paired off, only one entrance giving access to the interior. These vehicles are equipped with pneumatic tyres. Last year was one of the best seasons 'experienced by the "Royal Blues" (the designation by which the company is known in Llandudno), and, in an interview, both the tours manager, Mr. T. Hughes, and Mr. G. Wciodyatt expressed themselves as being quite hopeful of the prospect of being able this year to imt prove on the successes of .last season. Already a number of inquiries for private-party work has been dealt with.
One of the grievances of many of the Llandudno owners is the dangerous condition of the road to Llanfairfechan, where, owing to the narrow width of the highway and obstructions caused by telegraph poles at the sides, it is barely possible for two vehicles to pass abreast. One day last summer, owing to a breakdown, as many as 67 vehicles were counted waiting to pass a given spot. The more important .developments oil the Royal Blue services will be in connection with motorbuses, and, with the 'addition of four Or five new Thornyeroft single-decker saloons, with drop win. dews, their bits fleet will comprise 16 or 17 vehicles, two of which are doubledeckers. Their main service, run in conjunction with Messrs. J. Fred Francis and Sons, of Colwyn Bay, who also operate saloon buses, is between Old Colwyn and Llandudno, a journey. occupying an hour. The distance Separating the two places is about seven' miles, and although there .are tram and train services, the public show a manifest partiality for the journey by bus, the fares for which are about 1id. per mile. The winter services maintained by the coin pany are quite comprehensive, but axe, of course, amplified to meet conditions in the summer months, the total route mileage being between 40 and 50. Important. developments are now under consideration, and the company propose to run services in the districts-on both sides of the Conway Valley down to Betws-y-Coed, where there is a junction of the services of the Crosville Motor Bus Co., Ltd., of Chester, and of the Bangor Blue Motors, Ltd. When this plan has matured the routes of the Royal Blue services will encircle the Conway
Wide our representative was in the district he inspected a fine new garage which the company are erecting at Llandudno Junction—which is a kind of dead end. Llandudno, being situated on a promontory, about four miles from the main line of the railway, is rather awkwardly situated, especially for passengers who desire to travel from Llan. dudno, as it is necessary to journey to the junction before branching off on a particular route. The new garage will save a great amount of " dead" bus mileage and will become the headquarters of the buses running on services radiating from that point. When it is completed, the bus system will be reorganized, and instead of the vehicles being housed at an extreme end of the routes, they will work from the very heart of them. Thus, much better facilities will be ,provided for the travelling public.
The new premises comprise a main garage for the buses-112 ft. long by 60 ft. wide, a spacious showroom, repair and paint shops, and offices, all of which are on the ground floor. On the upper floor living accommodation is provided for manager and foreman, as well as ten bedrooms, which can be placed at the disposal of chauffeurs or unmarried employees of the company.
It is the intention of the company to make these premises the pivotal .establishment for. the distribution of their bus services to Colwyn Bay, Llandudno
and Llanrwat, and it is expected that the scheme will be completed and in working order by Easter. The cost of building the new garage, apart from the purchase of the site, is estimated at about £8,000. The motor coaching headquarters will continue to be concentrated in the Queen's Hotel Gardens. The company also operate a fleet of Vauxhall and Austin Twenty touring cars. The Llandudno Motor and Garage Co., Ltd., who run a fleet of passenger
vehicles familiarly known as' the " Royal Reds," are now preparing their fleet for the road. It consists of eight Thornycrofts; bwo Daimlers, three Dennis and one Vulcan.
The company who run the Royal Reds are still adherents to the big coach, and the 28-seater continued to be the unit on which they concentrate. Their book
ing offices and kiosks are some of the most distinctive to be seen throughout the country, and represent an endeavour to prove what they proclaim to the public—" The Royal Red route through North Wales. Every mile a mile of pleasure."
It is not until after the IvVbitsun holidays that coach traffic in any bulk becomes available, but in the meantime the plans and intentions of the company are being widely advertised.
This company have a very extensive booking system. In Llandudno they have eight booking agencies; in Colwyn Bay five ; Penmaerim awr three ; and offices at Rhos-on-Sea, Deganwy, Llandudno Junction, Con-way, Llanfairfechan, Tyny-groes, Llanrwst, Trefriew and Bettwsy-Coed. Seats for journeys in the Royal Red coaches may also be booked at. most of the chief hotels and boarding houses.