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Will B.T.C. Kill the Free Haulier?

20th January 1950
Page 58
Page 58, 20th January 1950 — Will B.T.C. Kill the Free Haulier?
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Mr. J. Foley Egginton on the Transport Act " TE the Commission, through its 1 Group and Depot officers, should go out for local traffic, which it may well do, we may find it opposing the renewal of the licences of free hauliers on the ground that it has the necessary facilities to do the work."

• This observation was made by Mr, J. Foley Egginton, West Midland Deputy Licensing Authority, in a paper, ." Some Comments on the Transport Act of 1947," read at a meeting of the Institute of Traffic Administration, in Birmingham, on Monday.

"The Licensing Authorities will be bound to take any such representation into account, in accordance with the principles laid. down by the 1933 Act • and the decisions of the Appeal Tribunal, and it may become very difficult to hold the balance between the Commission and the free haulier," he forecast, Earlier in the paper, Mr. Egginton had drawn attention to the provision in the Act relating to the carriage of nonexcluded traffic. The restriction on haulage beyond the specified radius -referred to the use of a vehicle or succession of vehicles to carry a load. "In the case of this restriction," he said, it is the vehicle and not the goods which must not go beyond 25 miles. May it be that by a transhipment of the goods from one vehicle to another, such goods may still be carried beyond 25 miles without a permit? "

With regard to compensation for goodwill, Mr. Egginton expressed the opinion that there would be much argument before the Arbitration Tribunal concerning the provision that payments would tre "not less than twice nor more than fivetimes the average of the net annual profits." A business with activities other than transport, which suffered as a result of acquisition, would present a particularly difficult problem.

Mr. Egginton said' that where the amount of compensation pa?able on any date did not exceed E20,000, the £2,000 cash payment could be claimed in respect of both the provisional assessment and the final assessment. Interest was also payable from the date of transfer until the dateof payment, when interest on the British Transport Stock (issued in satisfaction of compensation) began to accrue.

In answer to a question, Mr. Egginton said that applications for new licences to operate over the 25-mile limit would be heard, in the first instance, by the Licensing Authorities and if provisionally granted, the applicant would then have to make a second application to the British Transport Commission.

• In reply to another question, Mr. Egginton emphasized the illegality of changing tractors with the object of taking a trailer or semi-trailer beyond its stipulated radius of operation. If goods were transhipped, entirely new vehiclesmust be used by tae second haulier.

"Will the free haulier be left free to charge at the same rate as the B.T.C. when the rates are increased? " he was asked. Mr. Egginton replied that without further litigation, no restrictive pressure regarding rates could be brought to bear on the haulier.

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