Pensioners' Tours for Barton and Trent
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LICENCES were granted last week to .1-1 Barton Transport, Ltd., and Trent Motor Traction Co., Ltd., enabling them jointly to operate a series of excursions and tours in off-peak periods for old-age pensioners which will provide all-inclusive holidays to seaside resorts in the south.
A similar application made previously by Thomas Motor Tours to pick up pensioners in Nottingham and carry them on existing tours to Bournemouth, Ilfracombe and Tenby, was rejected by the East Midland Traffic Commissioners at Nottingham.
For Barton and Trent, Mr. A. C. G. Rothera said the proposals were to give special facilities to old people over the widest possible area. The destinations would be Bournemouth, Brighton, Hastings, Margate. Ramsgate, Ilfracombe and Torquay. The main service would operate from Loughborough, and the two companies proposed to operate two feeder services to Loughborough, the first from Alfreton, covering Trent's existing stage carriage routes via Ripley. Belper, Derby and Kegworth. The second feeder, to be operated by Barton's over their existing stage routes, would commence from Nottingham and operate via ChilwelL Long Eaton and Kegworth.
British Railways, said Mr. Rothera. had withdrawn their objection on a condition being imposed that not more than one vehicle be operated on each feeder service in respect of departures to Brighton. Hastings, Margate or Ramsgate. on any one day.
Thomas Motor Tours, continued Mr. Rothera, were objecting in respect of Nottingham, and he reminded the Commissioners that they had previously deferred an application by Thomas to pick up at Nottingham until they had heard the present Barton and Trent applications. The remaining objector, Associated Motorways, offered excursions and tours to similar destinations but these were not specially designed to meet the particular and special needs of pensioners.
After 17 pensioner witnesses had been heard, the majority of whom praised
Barton's existing old people's tours to northern resorts, Mr. R. H. Alefounder gave evidence for Barton's. He said that many of the old people had expressed the desire to go south, and the destinations applied for had been chosen because they specially catered for pensioners in off-peak periods.
Asked by Mr. G. A. Webb, for Associated Motorways, to define the words "elderly persons," which was the phrase used in the applications, Mr. Alefounder said they were willing to accept the expression to mean persons entitled to receive the old-age pension. Questioned about the request to carry with the old person a member of the family accompanying them on holiday, Mr. Alefounder denied that it would "open the door" to abuse. Barton's had had experience of this type of operation and were certain it was not abused.
Praise for Applicant
Giving, first, the Commissioners' reserved decision on the application by Thomas, Mr. C. R. Hodgson, the chairman, praised the services he was providing for old .people.
'We think he has done a very excellent thing in promoting this kind of facility which has filled a gap which has been in existence for a long time."
However, Thomas was not a regular operator in Nottingham, and the Commissioners had to have regard to the opposition from the stage carriage and express service providers in the area. Nottingham, being 20 miles from Newark, was too far from the operating centre of a coach operator for him to be allowed to use it as a catchment area.
Granting the Trent and Barton joint application, Mr. Hodgson said that although it was a little unusual to allow such a comparatively large catchment area, the Commissioners saw no reason for refusing the two feeder services proposed for the old and infirm. The actual wording of the conditions to be imposed would have to be worked out and would be published in due course.