News of the Week.
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" THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR " is officially recognised by the Motor Van and Wagon Users' Association.
It is expected that the conditions for the September trials of commercial motors will be issued by the Automobile Club next week.
The French Automobile Club announces that it will shortly publish a preliminary list of entries for its commercial motor trials.
At the provincial meeting of the Motor Union held at Nottingham last Saturday, the Hon. Arthur Stanley, M.P., expressed the view that commercial motors would do more than railways had in the improvement of internal transit.
The Lancashire Steam Motor Co., Ltd., of Leyland, has received an order for two 4-Ion steam wagons from the Corporation of Woodstock, Cape Colony, as the result of a recommendation from Messrs. Nuttall and Co., the large contractors of Cape Town, who have had eight Leyland wagons in service for nearly two years.
It is rumoured that the Great Central Railway may run a service between Shotton and Holywell.
Early next month the L. and N.W. Railway will run several services from Holywell, Flint, and Connah's Quay to Northop, Mold, Halkin, etc.
During the year i9o4 the West Sussex County Council expended on main roads the sum of £11,752 38. 9d., as against £12,875 Its. id. in 1903. Out of this sum the Council itself spent £8,924 is. nd. upon the maintenance of 158 miles of main roads, or at the rate of £56 gs. per mile. The balance was made up of repairs to bridges, footpaths, etc., inclusive of L811 ids. 4d. paid over to urban district councils for main road maintenance at the rate ot £tv per mile per annum. The figures bring out the fact which the Roads Improvement Association has before emphasised, viz., that it is a mistaken policy to permit a multiplication of small authorities for road making and repair, each with its own surveyor and staff of workmen. The County Council is able to maintain main roads at a cost of practically two-thirds less than the urban councils. Our Milling Trades issue will be published on June 8th—a fortnight to-day —and will be posted to some thousands of millers and leading flour dealers.
The London County Council is deriving an income of only £25,000 a year from the land which came into its possession in connection with the Strand to Holborn improvement, and upon which the interest charge amounts to 4.16o,00o a year. A rental of ,4;iso,000 a year is expected on development and occupation.
Wide interest is being taken in the proposed 1210. pneumatic tube for parcel conveyance in the metropolis. Lt.Col. R. E. B. Crompton, C.B., chairman of the Motor Van and Wagon Users' Association, has been largely re
sponsible for the preparation of the expert data for submission to the select committee. The relief afforded to street traffic by this underground system of parcel delivery will undoubtedly give motors greater freedom of movement.
A sub-committee of the Cardiff Corporation is considering the question of the purchase of a motor ambulance. The head Constable (Mr. W. McKenzie), in a report to the committee upon the subject, estimates the cost of a suitable vehicle at about £480.
General Laurie, the M. P. for Pembroke, addressed the following questions to the President of the L.G.B:— " Whether he had seen any of the furniture removal vans, with locomotive fittings and with another furniture van attached as a trailer, which were now occupying the streets of the metropolis, and which were permitted under the heavy motorcar regulations to travel at a speed far in excess of what was allowed to horse traffic; and whether he would take steps by personal observation and otherwise to examine the situation and make such modifications as would restore to the general public the free use of the public roads." Mr. Balfour replied as follows :—" Under the regulations the speed of a heavy motorcar drawing a trailer is not to exceed five miles an hour, and I understand that the police have been directed to see that the vehicles in question do not proceed at a speed in excess of the legal maximum." Shanghai is to have a service, provisional permission having been granted to a local company to run passenger and goods vehicles.
Dundee and the vicinity should offer splendid scope for a svell-manag-ed service of motor wagons, which would place the farmers at a distance in better touch with the local markets.
The Liverpool City Council refuses to entertain the purchase of buses. Sir Charles Petrie, chairman of the Tramways Committee, stated that his committee had considered the matter on many occasions hut could not recommend even the purchase of one as an experiment, because of the cost. We should be glad to learn the foundation for the statement made by Sir C. Petrie that " several corporations had appointed deputations to enquire into this particular system of traction, and they had all reported against the adoption of motorcars."
We fear that the Isle of Wight Omnibus Company, Ltd., is not goiog the right way to work to earn dividends. The directors are pursuing a mistaken policy in charging fares which in some instances are. exactly the high ones charged by the local antediluvian railway. The service had such a splendid send-off and is so badly needed, that it is a pity to frighten traffic away. If the summer visitor is to be relied upon to earn dividends, the venture has but a sorry outlook in front of it. We understand that over some portions of the routes the fares approximate to threepence per mile!
The Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon Co., Vulcan Works, Leeds, have just had a record week of orders for wagons, having received no less than nine from the following wellknown firms :—Messrs. Mutter, Howey and Co., Newcastle and Aberdeen, repeat order for two 5-ton wagons; Messrs. C. T. Faulkner. and Co., Manchester, for three 5-ton wagons; the Great Western Railway Co., Paddington, for one 5-ton wagon ; Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Co., Ltd., Manchester, for one 5-ton wagon; Messrs. Exhall Motor Transport Co., Bedworth, for one 5-ton wagon ; and Messrs. R. Walker and Sons, Leicester, for one 3-ton wagon.
We fail to understand the reasons which have induced our contemporaries, " The Star" and " The Morning Leader," to take up an antagonistic position on the bus vets us tram controversy. In the endeavour to support the London "County Council tramways policy, the two papers have fallen into the arms of the London United Tramways Co., Ltd. Whilst not in love with trams we must certainly give the L.C.C. credit for considering the interests of other road users by widening the roads to a reasonable width when they have taken over horsed trams. The L.U.T. Co., Ltd., has pursued a policy of absolute selfishness, a policy unfortunately backed up by various local authorities, who have in no way considered the interests of the ratepayers. Brentford, Twickenham, and now Kingston, are object-lessons of tramway monopoly in occupying the whole roadway, without going to the expense of proper widening. The Marquis of Waterford will be chairman of a small Irish company, with the moderate capital of £1,000, which is being formed to establish a service of goods wagons and passenger vehicles between Dunmore and Waterford.
Mr. Joseph Rochford, of Broxbourne, Herts, a large grower of fruits and vegetables for the London market, has ordered a 2oh.p. Wolseley wagon to carry three-ton loads. The wagon will be regularly employed between Broxbourne and Covent Garden Market, carrying grapes, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc„ and it is hoped to take delivery early in July.
The New Engine Company (Messrs. J. C. and G. F. Mort) has opened new works for the manufacture and repair of all types of motor vehicles, at Acton Hill, W., immediately opposite the tram depot in Uxbridge Road. A full equipment of modern machine tools has been laid down, and, as the area of the works is some isaxio square feet, there are ample facilities for receiving a large number of motors at one time.
Hastings is already feeling the effects of the action of the Corporation in handing its thoroughfares bodily into the hands of tramway exploiters. Queen's Road, one of the principal business thoroughfares, has been closed entirely to traffic for many weeks past, and the frontagers are realising that the installation is going to cost them large sums in loss of trade. The principal bait held out when the tram proposals were afoot was that the total working costs would be only sevenpence per car mile. We have seen these figures quoted over and over again in inspired letters to the lay Press, but have never yet seen what is included in the sum.
£49 a week is not a record taking for a London omnibus. George Shillibeer, in the year 1829, frequently took as much. as £ioo a week with his omnibus between Paddington and the Bank, but it must be remembered that he charged one shilling for the whole distance, and sixpence for half the trip. In addition, Mr. Shillibcer, who had been a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, proved a great attraction by reason of his perfect knowledge of the French language, and the young ladies of the West End used to travel in his omnibus for the purpose of improving their linguistic attain_ ments. We fear that any such attraction is not to be found in a London omnibus conductor at the present time.
Messrs. John I. Thornycroft and Co., Ltd., have issued their fourth annual report for the year ending December 3ist, 1904. Including the sum carried forward from the previous year, a total grass profit is shown of £31,525. Deductions for depreciation of plant, buildings, machinery, patterns, drawings, etc., account for £9,941; directors' fees, £879; debenture interest, £2,351; and preference dividend for half-year, £5,o99 ; leaving a balance of £13,252, which is distributed as follows :—Six months' preference dividend, £5,94o; dividend of 3 per cent, on the ordinary shares, £3,771; reduction of patents, Li,000 •' reduction of debenture issue expenses account, £i,oes ; balance carried forward, £1,475. The issued share capital is £346,500. The directors, in their report, intimate that larger profits would have been earned but for delay over the L.G.B. regulations. News con Id.
The Tramways Committee of the Leith Town Council has under consideration the introduction of a summer service of horsed omnibuses from the foot of Leith Walk to Newhaven pending the completion of the tramway system over this route.
W. A. 141cLaren and Co., Limited, 243, St. Asaph Street, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand, is forming a protection organisation for owners of mechanical traction plant similar to the National Traction Engine Owners' and Users' Association of London.
A proposal for a system of electric tramcars is under consideration by the I ythe Town Council, the offer being made by a company. No decision has yet been taken in the matter, and builders of motor omnibuses should communicate with the Town Clerk without delay.
The report of the Royal Commission on London Traffic is expected to appear shortly after -Whitsuntide, the incorporation of recent evidence in reference to motor omnibuses accounting for the slight additional delay. It is understood that the report will be extremely bulky and will run to several volumes.
A meeting of the governors and members of the Royal Agricultural Society of England was held in London on Monday last, when the chair was taken by the President (Lord Middleton). The new by-laws were carried under which each county in England heroines an electoral district returning one member to the council of the society if less than 300 governors or members are resident therein, and two members of council for a larger membership. Lord Derby, in supporting the proposals, expressed the hope that the change in constitution, for which a supplementary charter was to he granted, would have the effect of greatly strengthening their resources and their hold upon the country generally.
On Friday last, Mr. H. 0. Arnold-Forster, M.P., Secretary of State for War, and Major-General ll, C. 0. Plumer, Quarter-Master General, inspected the Mechanical Transport Company of the Army Service Corps at Aldershot. Ten types of vehicles paraded., and it is interesting to note that their services during the last twelve months have saved the country E,7,000. This economy will be largely increased in future years by a more general employment of mechanical transport, coupled with improvements in the methods of use and organisation. The Field Company repair train also turned out, this consisting of one dynamo providing power for lighting the trailers and supplying two arc lights, and also driving four sets of machine tools.
Mr. Charles Bright, F.R.S.E., has written a most interesting little volume (published by King and Son at the small price of one shilling), entitled " The Locomotion Problun." Mr. Bright deals mainly with the all-absorbing question of locomotion in our larger cities as affected by motor buses, electric trams and underground railways and tubes. He sums up the situation with respect to horses, and considers that there will be no room for them in the main streets of big towns. Roads should be classified as they are in France into national and departmental, and should be placed entirely under the direct control of some central authority; all bridges should be in charge of the one authority. The author deals very fully with the bus versus trarn, and emphasises the necessity of treating tram systems as railways; he contends that no rails should be laid in the centre of streets, but should be put down at the side, upon a portion specially widened for the purpose. We can recommend our readers to invest the modest outlay for this volume, as it is written in a lucid style, and endeavours to treat impartially of all phases of a very complex problem.. The third international Electric Tramway and Railway Exhibition will be held at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington, N., from July 3rd to 4th, and may possibly include some exhibits of motor buses.
The Glasgow Corporation has been granted powers, by Provisional Order under the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act, to run motor omnibuses in the place of tramcars when, for any reason, the regular tramway service is interrupted on that route, and to institute an omnibus service to prolong any tramway route the extension of which may be contemplated, and to test the amount of traffic. The powers are not to be exercised beyond a radius of three miles from any point on the tramways, and. should not, without the consent of the Board of Trade, be exercised in the case of any one road for a longer period than one year.
A committee meeting was held at 119, Piccadilly, W., on th e i8th instant, when the chair was taken by Mr. Douglas Mackenzie. There were also present : Lt.-Col. H. C. L. Hoiden, R.A., Messrs. George Monro, jun. (Motor Cartage and Transport Co., Ltd.), F. C. A. Coventry (G.W. Railway), W. G. Lobjoit (Messrs. W. and J. Lobjoit and Son), and Mr. Walter H. Willcox. Lt.-Col. R. E. B. Crompton, C.B., arrived during the course of the meeting. A letter from secretary of the Automobile Club in reference to the September commercial motor trials was re ceived and considered, and Colonel Hoiden promised tocon vey certain views to the Club committee. Instructions were given on various matters concerning bridges and extraordinary traffic, it being decided to support Pickford's Limited in an application to quash the recent smoke conviction by a writ of certiorari.
„ Tne Commercial Motor" is officially recognised by
THE MOTOR VAN . & WAGON USERS' ASSOCIATION, . . 16, Down Street, W.
The organisation for an users and Persons Interested in Commercial Motors of every type.
Annual Subscription One &Tined.
Full particulars may be obtain:a on appicarion to the secretary.
W. REES JEFFREYS.