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21st August 1970, Page 38
21st August 1970
Page 38
Page 38, 21st August 1970 — letters
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

NFC Annual Report

From Sir Reginald Wilson The articles by Janus are always of interest, and I am delighted to see that he has been going carefully into the NFC Annual Report.

This is what it was written for. May I add, in the hope of encouraging him further, that there are one or two other topics in the report besides Integration which are also worth closer attention than they have yet received?

But I must make it absolutely clear for Janus, and for the public record, that the general shape and contents of our annual report (including a special chapter on integration) were settled soon after Easter, and that the draft texts were ready long before the General Election; by June 24, in fact, the final stages of proof reading were already in progress. We subsequently managed to alter Mulley to Peyton, but only minor changes of this kind were then possible.

The NFC Report was not, therefore, written for political parties, or to seek to justify the Corporation's further existence. For good if perhaps old-fashioned reasons it has been the policy of NFC from the outset to play down all publicity for itself and for its own importance as an institution, but once a year it must carry Out a statutory duty to report publicly on its affairs. It tries to do this as well as it can, and especially in its first year it was necessary to explain not only its accounts but also the nature of its being. the governing concepts and attitudes of NFC within the Act, and its proceedings generally.

I am glad to think, after reading Janus, that the report has aroused an interested and not unfriendly response—flattering in one way if not in another—in at least one mind that is thoughtful and in one which is endowed with a refreshing element of scepticism as well as with a considerable knowledge about transport.


'Ridiculous ritual'

How much longer has this industry to be subjected to the ridiculous ritual of licensing by unladen weight?

Surely common sense alone tells us that with the introduction of plating of vehicles we have the basis of taxing by the much sounder and simpler method of plated weights.

The present system, apart from being. timeconsuming, deprives the operator of much needed revenue. At the moment hauliers are being asked daily to present vehicles at weighbridges at a certain time and once the haulier receives this request, he has to plan his traffic, so that the vehicle is available, which often necessitates him refusing work.

When the vehicle has been weighed one can normally expect a letter from the authorii ties requesting information as to why the vehicle weighs less or more, dependent mainly on weather conditions at the time of weighing.

Obviously, the present system became most difficult with the advent of articulation and with every good intention it is impossible to ensure that the weights are identical week after week.

One realizes how serious the problem is when manufacturers of trailers cannot guaran

tee the same weight for each trailer of the same model.

At the moment hauliers who add parts tc their vehicles, in the interests of safety, are penalized twice by paying extra road fund tai and reducing their carrying capacity.

The system of applying to license a vehicle by deducting various items such as fuel anc water is also confusing to the traffic clerk when he is handed a registration book showinç a weight that will be completely misleading tc him when loading the vehicle. To give an indi• cation how outdated this scheme is one hat only to look at the first item on Form R.F. 12/.

-Water in boilers of steam vehicles".

If we are 400king for economies surely the civil servants employed on this work can be more gainfully employed.

F. L JOLLY. Director, Ackworth Transport Co, Ltd. Ackworth, near Pontefract

Hgv driver shortage

I have read with interest all the recent com• ments on the acute shortage of suitable mar for training to the Class I grade of the heav) goods vehicle licence. Additionally, I have been surprised at the lack of response to the various training schemes operated under the auspices of the Road Transport Indust!) Training Board; as an ex-driver, at preseni estranged from driving, I thought this situatior existed only north of a line formed betweer Edinburgh and Glasgow. I have persona% tried in vain to obtain employment with three medium haulage contractors, but have beer rejected as not suitable as I do not possess m) Class I licence. It would appear that a person. such as myself, is placed out of category— preference being given to drifters, etc.

To illustrate my point. I possess educations certificates to GCE {ordinary level), ar engineering background {qualified tradesman), heavy-duty driving experience covering al types of vehicle over a period of 14 years plus an enthusiasm for the industry based or economic understanding of transport costing_ and operation. Therefore, as a fit {physically; and intelligent person, mature in responsibility and commonsense, I find myself passed over for a lesser qualified person.

It seems sad that while CM advocates the need for better personnel for the industry, the hauliers ignore the situation in their pursuit 01 drifting persons, who are apt to be liabilities in terms of transport economics on a longterm basis. Perhaps I am being unjust to thE percentage of transport operators, who dc make efforts in either training their recruits themselves, or procurring training at a recognized establishment, specializing in hgv courses.

However, nationwide, the bias is against the aforementioned; the majority appears to be content to let others do the ground work, for them to reap the harvest by higher monetary incentives afterwards, so enticing trained men away. I myself would accept training to ensure that bad techniques—if they exist— could be eradicated.

AN EX-DRIVER. Warne and address supplied.)


Organisations: Training Board
People: Reginald Wilson
Locations: Glasgow, Edinburgh

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