Higher Costs and Lower Traffic
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LASTyear, London Transport's costs rose to 130 per cent. above pre-war level, whereas fares increased by an average of only 63 per cent. Even today, fares are only 77 per cent. higher than before the war. These figures are given in Lord Latham's annual personal letter to the staff, which reviews his six years as chairman.
Dealing with outstanding events, Lord Latham states that peak-period queues were shortened and many new services introduced. Whereas six years ago vehicles had to be hired to supplement the worn-out fleet, almost all the old public service vehicles had now been replaced. Efficiency had been increased by the replacement of trams by 824 buses.
Traffic had fallen off each year since 1948, partly because of the popularity of television and an increase in private cars.
Looking to the future, Lord Latham said that maintenance costs would be reduced by the new bus overhaul works at Aldenham. The fleet of 10,000 road vehicles was likely to increase, and the Chiswick works had been constructed to, deal with only 4,000. Overhaul of bodywork would be carried out at the new works when it was completed in a year or two, whilst engine overhaul work would remain at Chiswick.