OPINIONS FROM OTHERS.
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
The Editor irsvites correspondence on all subjects connected with the uSe of commercial motors. Letters should be on one side of the paper only and typewritten by preference. The right of abbreviation is reserved, and no responsibility for views expressed is accepted.
Omnibus Facilities at the British Empire Exhibition. • The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
[2269J Sir,—The letter (No. 2266 in the issue of The Conimercial Il(otor for July 15th) from the assistant secretary of the Association of London Omnibus, Proprietors, Ltd., with reference to bus traffic at the British Empire Exhibition, seems rather to savour of the old fable of the fox and the grapes. To the mind of a humble member of the travelling public, with no interest in any traffic concern, who is using buses all day and every day for business and pleasure, the reply of the Home Secretary appears entirely satisfactory.
If I may be allowed, I should like to point out to Mr. Burton's Association that if any advantages accrue to the L.G.O.C., either at Wembley, under the proposed Traffic Act or otherwise, they are fully entitled to them, in view of the great and efficient service performed by them for very many years on behalf of the public in whose employ they are, which fact is rather apt to be overlooked by their competitors, who, however efficient, appear more to be concerned with the financial side of the matter.
With regard to the combine "diverting their vehicles from all over the Metropolis," I think Mr. Burton is slightly misinformed. I am aware of no rervice that has at any. time been to the slightest degree curtailed to meet abnormal conditions at Wembley. From conversations with officials, I under-Stand that buses are sent from garages, after finishing their normal day's work, until all would-be passengers have been conveyed from the Exhibition. This is, of course, as it should be and is part and parcel of the responsibilities of any public utility concern, but it is all the more to the credit of the L.G.0.0. that this is done, since the.running costs of these journeys are doubled by the absence of passengers on the outward journey. I have seen buses from garage's as far afield as Merton running empty to Wembley, at hours long after the normal closing of the Exhibition, and on one occasion I noticeda bus from Kingston. This is a direct contrast to those who take their passengers to the Exhibition during the afternoon or early evening rush, and then "park " until the evening " peak" is in full swing, leaving our friends the "General " to take home those few people who are leaving the place early.
I am not one of those who believe the L.G.O.C. is everything that is good and the independents the reverse, or vice versa, but I would like to remind the Association that they cannot be treated on the same footing until they realize that an omnibus proarietor must consider the public, whose servant he is, first and his profits last, which is just where the combine and the independents differ.—Yours faith
fully, D. GRAHAM DAVIES. London, W.10..
Front-wheel Brakes on Vehicles with Solid Tyres.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
[22701 Sir,—As there is some probability of frontwheel brakes becoming popular on commercial motors, a word of warning might be of service to the manufacturers of commercial vehicles which run on solid tyres.
I cannot claim to have had any recent experience of such brakes fitted to vehicles of the three-ton (or over) type, but I have had some very unpleasant experience of them in the past. B46 Some years back, I remember some three-ton vehicles being fitted with front-wheel brakes, which latter were so unsatisfactory, on account of the skidding of the vehicles, that they were removed and scrapped.
The vehicles were well constructed and so were the brakes, and I do not see any reason why brakes which then gave so much trouble should now be free from the defect of inducing skidding. I am well aware that, in some cases, a device which has been abandoned for some fault may, under altered conditions, pre-ye to be a success later on. I can, however, see no condition that has altered in this case, excepting that the streets are cleaner than when I originally tried front-wheel brakes. The smaller number of horses, coupled with the greater care taken in cleaning streets, and the almost total abandonment of macadam as a paving, has reduced the amount of "grease " to be found in the streets, but there are certain conditions even to-day when I should not dare to apply a front-wheel brake on a vehicle shod with solid tyres.
One of the worst conditions one can have to deal with is when running over an asphalt surface when a slight shower of rain has just commenced. This condition is sometimes rendered even more dangerous if there has been no traffic on the road for some little time, and dust has acaumulated.
The vehicles I have in mind were expected to travel at a fast pace, often in the small hours, when there was no traffic about. There were several accidents and many near shaves, and this experience brought about the condemnation of front-wheel brakes as being unsuitable for London use. I am aware that trials made with pleasure cars fitted with pneumatic tyres have proved that front-wheel brakes do not cause skidding any more than brakes of other kinds, but I know from experiencethat results Obtained on pleasure cars are no guarantee that the same results shag be obtained on commercial motors, especially when solid tyres are used. I would, therefore, strongly advise manufacturers to make Rum, by exhaustive trials on all conditions of roads, before adopting front-wheel brakes as a standard. A skid with the rear wheels may be rectified by careful steering, but a front-wheel Skid, with wheels acting as skates, leaves one in a helpless position, as the skid will not right itself, but gradually gets worse, until the progress of the vehicle is arreste4rby a shop window or, perhaps, by a pedestrian against a wall.
—Yours faithfully, NIMROD, J tamoa. London, N.
Roadside Accommodation for Drivers.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
[22711 Sir,— Before the war the Commercial Motor -Users 'Association published a. volume entitled the C.M.U.A. Night Shelter Handbook. It gave plans of various towns and important places, and on the page opposite each a list of places where commercial motors could be sheltered and of other places where the men could get sleeping accommodation. I suppose the war put an end to this enterprise as it did to so many others, but there was the germ of the idea. It is out of date now and, moreover, it does not give information about places on the road away from towns where this shelter is to be obtained. Many runs covering two days bring one at the end of the first day's running well away from a town, so that information about intermediate places is more important than that concerning the big places.—Yours faithfully, SENTINEL DRIVER.