A Case for Equal Competition
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From Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Osborne Maitre, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.
MAY I have a little space to reply to the comments by ivi "Janus," in your issue dated January 18, on the article I contributed in response to a sporting invitation from the "British Transport Review "?
Once equality of competition has been established by the abolition of, or compensation for, obligations imposed on one or other form of transport (not referred to in the comments) the general trend of transport development will be disclosed by the extent of use of the different tracks. This will depend on the competitive advantages of operating costs and service of the different means for transport. There is no question of " manipulation of rates and service" by some dictatorial authority.
Surely it will need some independentbody to consider and decide when the time comes, whether, for example, it is better to employ national resources, in the elec trification of railways or in developing a road system possibly strong enough to take vehicles carrying 50 to 60 tons?
My article dealt with road and rail co-ordination. As regards air trans port, I would start off with the principle that as soon as possible this should cover all its own track and signalling costs, whichis by no means the case at present, and then normally compete with land transport as coastwise shipping does at present. I would allow the railways, and even road transport if it wants it, to integrate air services with their systems, with common financial interest.
I hope that I have made clear in my article the logical reasons for the pooling of track charges. The query in the title of the article was intended as an invitation to critics to suggest a constructive alternative basis for the solution of the problem. Such solution will lie in the choice between, or combination of, alternative proposals each with its pros and cons.
London, E.C.4. H. 0. MANCE.
WHO HAL) THE TOLLS?
REGARDING the proposal to limit the carrying capacity of the Conway suspension bridge to 71 tons; as an operator who will have to re-route or lose many contract carriage tours in North Wales this season, if this takes place, I would like to ask what has happened to: the toll money taken on this bridge for years?
This, of course, ignores whatever may have happened to the apportionment from the Road Fund for mainroad repair schemes.
DEREK, MOORE-HEPPLESTON, Manager, Rotherham. (For Messrs. Peel's Tours).
SAFETY ON THE ROAD I THINK that you are performing a valuable service in opening your columns to ideas on road safety, and
I trust that the opportunity will be fully exploited.
As I see it, the basic troubles of this vast problem arise from the following causes:— • (a) Road users, with few exceptions, appear to think that their particular rights should take priority over those of all others. (b) The standard of driving has deteriorated considerably since 1939.
(c) The long-standing anti-motoring feeling created by certain sections of the Press and fostered by some magistrates creates stupid antipathy between all sections of road users.
(d) Pedestrian crossings have become ridiculous and, as operated, are a menace, because they give to the young and aged, the infirm and mentally deficient, as well as those not so handicapped, the responsibility of judging for themselves the speed and type of oncoming vehicles, the condition of the road surface, lighting, etc.
(e) There are numerous roads entirely unsuited to the traffic they carry.
If we accept these as the main reasons for the high incidence of accidents, it is useless to suggest remedies which do not take them into account, plus many others.
As a beginning, therefore, I suggest that a national conference should be called, with delegates from all.organizations..direetly concerned with !bads
and road travel. . . .
The Ministry of Transport should; think, be the convening body "
I am aware that there. has . been a .Royal Commission on the subject-, but
I doubt whether it was sufficiently representative.
Another useful contribution would be the formation of a large number of local traffic Clubs, some of the activities of which could be devoted to road safety Matters. These would require no great• organizing ability or much money. • We have one such club here which is part of the Community Centre, thus bringing together all classes of road user. It is a motor club, and those of its activi•ties related to road safety are discussions, film shows, instruction to foster vehicle fitness, suggestions to local authorities on road improvements (some of which have been approved), talks by the police, etc. Overall, one of the declared objects of the club is to promote road safety by tolerance and good manners towards other road users, and friendship through the true community spirit.
Northolt. R. B. DANIELL, A.I.R.T.E.
THOSE SCANNELL 100TONNERS RECENTLY a group of us were having a friendly argument as to when the first 100-ton Scammell was placed on the road and who was the owner. I said that Marsdon's Road Services owned it about 22 years ago. However, we could not agree so we are applying to you for information. We would also like to know, if possible, who owned the second and third examples of this model.
Hoylake. T. ATHERTON.
[The first Scammehl 100-tonner was delivered to M.R.S., Ltd., in January, 1930, so you were accurate as regards the time. Incidentally, the initials stood for Marston's Road Services. The second vehicle—there were only two of these Scammells made—was bought in February, 1930, by Coley and Co., Ltd., a tin-mining concern of Cornwall. It was used in the first instancz.to carry. a smelting•plant to that county. After this it ran for some time with•heavy loads until the need for carrying these practically ceased. It was then sold to -Pickforcts, Ltd., for the use of its heavy haulage department, which is now operated under the Road Haulage Exccutive.—ED.]