Opinions from Others.
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A Glasgow Show.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
[1,330] Sir,—I was much surprised to note the coinanents of your correspondent Senex " in your issue 16th March, referring to Glasgow as being an untried field as regards the commercial-motor vehicle. I am afraid his knowledge of this subject must be of a very-superficial nature, as, excepting London, there is no city in the United Kingdom which has so many commercial motors in regular use. Glasgow, as a city, has always been recognized as one of the most progressive in the kingdom, and it is now many years since the advantages of the commercial motor were fully appreciated and taken advantage of by many of the leading firms in this respect.—
Y ours faithfully, SECOND CITY. Glasgow.
Roads and Finance.
The Editor, TEE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
[1,331] Sir,—It was a great pleasure to read .Mr. John Muir's letter which appeared under "Opinions from Others" in your issue of 16th March. As an owner of heavy motors, I have had to listen to an enormous amount of abusive language about the damage which our type of machine does to the roads, but, as yet, I have found few people. who, like Mr. Muir, recognize that excessive vibration, caused by uneven roads, knocks the heavy vehicles all to pieces. Whilst I cannot display Mr. Muir's optimism respecting shock-absorbing devices, I recognize that they have probably a more-important part to play in the future than they play at present. The serious aspect of the present road problem is not due to any lack of possibility in improving the construction of heavy motors ; their progress is phenomenal. The danger lies in another direction. Mr. Harcourt Clare, in his speech at the opening of the Manchester Motor Show, admitted that between the years 1894-1905 Lancashire did nothing to make her roads suitable for the extra-heavy traffic which she must have known full well was to be shortly put upon them. Even now, her expenditure has only reached £40,000 above what it was when the maximum weight carried over her roads was four tons ; to-day, it is 12 tons. Apparently, the Lancashire C.C. is not to blame for this want of preparedness, for one learns with surprise, not to mention disgust, that the Government refuses to meet its financial obligations to the county. The Government has subjected Lancashire roads to a new and exceptionally-heavy form of traffic ; it has issued tacit itistructions that the roads are to be kept in a suitable form for carrying this
new type of transport ; yet, according to Mr. Harcourt Clare, it refuses to pay to the Lancashire C.C. the proportion which it has promised to the upkeep of the roads. [This view is open to question. ..das this correspondent not read the letter from " Civil Engineer in our issue of the 9th inst. 7—End This is grossly unjust to the users of heavy motorcars, as well as to the road authorities ; the Government has no moral right to bring a new industry into existence and then to refuse to recognize its obligations to that industry. The result of this action has been, not only to throw an undue burden upon us, by our having i invested our money n a type of machine which is unsuitable for the existing roads, but the Government has placed us in a wrong relation with the road authorities, whose roads we have to use.
Unless the Government wakes up and acts in a businesslike manner, the country will have to be content to see the commercial motor set back to what it was 10 years ago. It has been suggested, as a temporary solution, that the axle-weights of future vehicles be limited to five tons, but this appears to be a step in an entirely-wrong direction. There is little doubt that, so soon as this type of machine began to multiply, there would be a further outcry against heavy motors, with a further request for reduced axle-weight, until the road surveyor could reduce his road bills to what they were before the days of road mechanical transport.. The only solution that is likely to prove satisfactory is for a Government loan to be raised, to meet the necessary expenditure, at any rate so far as main roads are concerned ; once these roads have been provided. with proper foundations, the question of maintaining the surface will prove a comparatively-small mat-ter.—Yours faithfully,
A Suggested All-British Cab Week.
The Editor, THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR.
[1,332] Sir,—In view of the interest now being taken in the All-British shopping week, which I feel sure will do much to bring before the public the fact that they can obtain articles of all kinds, made in Great Britain, as good as—if not better than—those made in any other part of the world, I would suggest that the attention of the public should be drawn to the fact that they can assist their country's welfare by making use of " All-British " taxicabs, and it seems to me that it would be of considerable interest to the public if every British-made taxicab bore a small Union Jack, say about 3 in. long, on the top and in front.
I am not financially interested in any cab com panies, but this does appear to me to be a way in which the British public can encourage home industries and so help to support their own countrymen.
All the green Garnage-Bell cabs are British, and all the "W. and G." cabs, which bear, the word " Napier " on the top of the radiator, and which have a Union Jack on the door, are also British.
It now only remains for those who are driving British cabs to fasten a small Union Jack flag on their cabs to ensure exceptionally-large takings during the " All British " shopping week, and for some enterprising British firm to supply them at a reasonable price.
We can depend on the drivers of British cabs to see that they protect their own interests by preventing these flags from being used on foreign-made cabs.
I am sorry to have to refer to the necessity of such drivers' protecting their own interests, but I mention this because the owners of some foreign-made vehicles have placed a painted Union Jack on the door panels. This is not unlikely to lead some people to believe that such chassis are British made, whereas they are not.— Yours faithfully, S. F. EDGE.