EXTENSION OF CHRISTMAS DRIVING HOURS.
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The Minister of Transport has made an Order which permits the hours of drivers of goods vehicles to be increased during Christmas and the New Year. It was made on the application of the Joint Council for the Retail Distributive Trades' Section of the Road Transport Industry, the Associates Committee of the British Road Federation, Ltd., the National Federation of Launderers, Ltd., the Scottish Federation of Grocers' and Provision Merchants' Associations, and the Scottish Master Bakers' Association.
As a result, it will be lawful for drivers of C-licence vehicles to drive for 12 hours on not more than two days in each of the three weeks ending December 21 and December 28, 1935, and January 4, 1936. The Order does not affect drivers of A-• and B-licence vehicles, as in England and Wales a similar extension of hours in their case is already authorized by an existing Order.
S.U.M. Branch Being Formed for Manchester.
The desirability of commercialvehicle owners and drivers,, as well as private motorists, supporting the Society of United Motorists was stressed at a meeting in Manchester, "last week, where a branch is being formed.
The aims of the S.U.M. are practical, and include the establishment of closer contact with Members rf Parliament, more equitable taxation, the use of the Road Fund for the purpose indicated by its title, cancellation of endorsements of drivers' licences, and adjustment of the circumstances whereby different fines are imposed by various courts for the same offences.
Officers were appointed as follow:— Chairman, Mr. Arthur Watkinson (Greengate Garages, Ltd., Salford); hon. secretary, Mr. M. J. S. Wedgewood, 51, Moss Park Road, Stretford; committee: Messrs. Arthur Cotton. (Chorlton-cum-Hardy), E. S. Abram, J. E. IV. Booth (solicitor), W. H. Watkinson (all of Manchester), F. P. Lord (Wilmslow) and S. Barker (Stretford).
The 1936 "Safety First" Campaign.
At a meeting held, last Friday, by the National "Safety First" Association, when Sir Charles Igglesden, chairman of the National Publicity Committee, was in the chair, Mr. Gordon Stewart made a statement on the accident position and outlined the Association's programme for 1936.
Every highway authority is being asked to help by co-ordinating its roadsafety activities, and co-operating with the Association in an educational and propaganda campaign, the aim being to secure in every locality a minimum reduction of 10 per cent, in the number of killed and injeired.
It has been found that the main reason for accidents is the constant disregard of the Highway Code by all sections of road user. One hundred B16 new poster designs are to be produced, many dealing with important points in the Code, and it is hoped to make another film for children. The Association will try to secure 100,000 entries in the "Safe Driving" Competition, in which 80,000 drivers took part this year.
Commercial Motors at Swiss Show.
A section for commercial vehicles will again be provided at the annual Swiss Motor Show, to be held in Geneva from March 20-29, 1936.
German Oil.erigine Development.
An amalgamation of the interests of two important German concerns, the Magirus Co., Ulm, and the HumboldtDeutz Motoren Co., of Cologne, has just been announced.
A Head Office Transferred.
The head office of Messrs. Hall and Hall, the manufacturers of Hallite packings and jointings, has been transferred to the works of the firm at Hampton, Middlesex. The London offices are still at 47, Leadenhall Street, E.C.3.
More Restrictions in France.,
As from January 1, no new heavy vehicles having a width exceeding 2.35 M. (7 ft 8 ins.) and a length greater than 10 m. (32 ft. 9 ins.) may be placed on the roads in France. Old vehicles having a width of 2.5 m. (8 ft. 2 ins.) may continue to be used until December 31, 1938.
Classes for Read-transport Students.
The Wandsworth Technical Institute, London, S.W. (which is a few minutes' walk from Clapham Junction Railway Station), is inaugurating a series of lectures, starting in January, 1936, for the preparation of road-transport students for *he examinations of the Royal Society of Arts to be held next May. The class, "Elements of Transport," will be held on Monday eveniegs for two hours, commencing January 6, the inclusive fee being 13s. 4d., or, for two or more evenings on similar subjects, 29s. Early application should be made to Mr. A. Williamson Bain, M.A., care of the above Institute.
London Police Buys More "Black Macias."
The Metropolitan Police authorities have recently ordered a further four Leyland Cob passenger machines, with similar equipment to the 14 vehicles of this type which they now have in service. These vehicles have Weymann bodies and are used as "Black Merles" in the London area.
Each body has 74 cells, 2 ft. square. the cubicles being reached by way of a central gangway. The main entrance is on the neaside at the front and an emergency door, with a folding step, is provided at the rear. Interior lighting is effected by roof lamps along the gangway and sufficient light filters through the grilles at the top of the cell doors to illuminate the cubicles. SLUMP IN INDIAN IMPORT TRADE.
There was a heavy fall in the number of motorbuses, vans and lorries imported into India in the period from April 1 to September 30, 1935, the figure being 3,776, contrastedowith 5,110 in the corresponding period of 1934. The difference in values was not, however, so marked, the fall being from Rs, 59.3 lakhs to Rs. 55.1 lakhs. The principal country of supply was America, although the vehicles from this source fell from 3,543 in 1034 to 1,971 this year, the fall in value being from Rs. 35 lakhs to Rs. 21.4 Canada was the next largest supplier, with 1,414 vehicles, valued at Rs. 18.6 lakhs, figures which compare with 1,268 and 15.4 respectively for 1934.
The United Kingdom share of the trade was small, amounting to 283 and 349 vehicles respectively in the two periods of six months. There was, however, a sharp rise in the value of its contribution from Rs. 8.4 lakhs to Rs. 13.5 lakhs.
• .Liverpool Chamber Against Furtbei Restrictions.
Opposition to farther restrictiOns road transport was voiced at Tuesday s meeting of the council of the Livetpool Chamber of Commerce. Following consideration of a communication from the Association of British Chambersof Commerce, the transport committee-recorded the opinion that no further-restrictions should be imposed:, Mr. R. B. Stockdale said the-fourth greatest" industry in the countrywas
approaching a crisis. The 'difficukty was to find co-ordination which woild not destroy healthy rivalry that would benefit the public. The industry was opposed to any interference with' the liberty of the private trader.
Mr. R. V. Edwards said they abhorred restrictions more than anything else. They did not want a traffic board.
What is a Dangerous Load?
The queAion of what constitutes a dangerous load caused some discussion at the Bolton County Police Court, on Monday, when the Bleachers' Association, Ltd., Manchester, was fined and costs for permitting a steam wagon and trailer to be used with the trailer dangerously loaded.
The prosecution contended that a lamp standard was broken through' contact with the load on the trailer.
dence was given that the load, packed on a wood base, was not actually secured to the trailer and, when dispatched, was perfectly in order. Mr. W. Macve, traffic manager to the defendant, expressed the opinion that it would have been more dangerous to have secured it to the trailer by ropes.
Mr. 1'. M. Deckhouse submitted that before the magistrates could convict, they must be satisfied that the concern had intentionally allowed the trailer to be used while improperly loaded. After a lengthy hearing, the magistrates decided that the load was a source, of danger, and concluded that it had not been packed with necessary care..