Call our Sales Team on 0208 912 2120

Road Transport Activities

26th May 1931, Page 43
26th May 1931
Page 43
Page 43, 26th May 1931 — Road Transport Activities
Noticed an error?
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.

Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

in PARLIAMENT By Our Special Parliamentary Correspondent The London Passenger Transport Bill.

SIR HENRY MAYBURY, chairman of the Loudon and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee, was the first witness called in support of the London Passenger Transport Bill before the Joint Committee. After giving general evidence, he was crossexamined by Mr. E: Charteris,

on behalf of the London County Council, which is a petitioner against the Bill. He declared that, in view of the needs of London traffic generally, the terms upon which the L.C.C. tramways were to be taken over were quite fair.

Counsel suggested that it was difficult to regard as fair a formula which gave an improving asset less than its value and gave more than its value to an unprofitable undertaking. • Sir Henry still maintained that the arrangement was fair from the point of view of London traffic, and he thought the L.C.0 would be glad if the inquiry restilted in the present state of traffic being improved.

Counsel asked whether there would be anybody on the Board to consider municipal interests. Sir Henry thought those interests were met by the proposal that municipalities should have a larger representation on the London Traffic Advisory Committee.

A Question of Ownership.

THE question was asked by Sir Leslie Scott, K.C., who appeared for the Metropolitan Railway, as to what difference ownership made, as compared with pooling. The witness said that it made a good deal of difference to have the management and control in the intensive traffic area covered by the Metropolitan Railway in the hands of one authority. The Traffic Advisory Committee had found that different ownerships militated against schemes whereby conditions could be improved.

Cross-examined by Mr. Montgomery, K.C., for the Association of Independent Omnibus Owners, the witness agreed that the proposals meant that the large profits made by many of the buses would be brought into a common pool in order that the additional railway facilities required by the travelling Public might be provided.

Mr. A. T. Miller; K.C., representing Thomas Tilling, Ltd., asked Sir Henry if he would agree that the bus provided a cheap, convenient, popular and remunerative method of transport, to which question he replied : "Yes, remunerative to the investor."

M.H.C.S.A. Represented.

IN reply to Mr. Moon, .K.C., who appeared for the Motor Hirers and

• Coach Services Association, he admitted that motor coaches were coming • into the London traffic area in increas

ing numbers, carrying passengers at cheap fares, and that they were a great boon to a large part of the community. Tinder the provisions of the Bill, those coaches would be bought out, although under a certain clause they might no longer pick up and set down passengers inside the London traffic area. As to compensation, he did not knew that would be assessed, but he had no doubt that the owners would be reimbursed. •

Counsel expressed his grave doubts. Asked whether he was prepared to abandon the monopoly and trust the Traffic Commissioners to deal fairly and squarely as between independent. road interests and the combine, Sir Henry Maybury said he would not, for a moment, question the fairness of the Traffic Commissioners, but the whole basis of the success of theproposals in the Bill was bound up with giving the Transport Board an absolute monopoly of passenger traffic in the London area. With reference to the Green Line express services, he mentioned that the coaches numbered about 200, and that the routes on which they ran were the only express services to be taken over by the Board.

A Closed Bus Market ?

REPLYING to Mr. Bruce Thomas, K.C., appearing for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and other bodies, witness agreed that the output of British coaches and buses would likely be in the region of 120,000,000, the eAport trade being substantial and growing. As there was a vast potential market abroad for vehicles of this kind, it was, he admitted, highly desirable that in the national interests no obstacle should be placed In the way of British manufacturers. He also agreed that the London traffic area was one of the most important markets in the country, and that British manufacturers should not be deprived of it.

Counsel : "If this monopoly be granted, along with the power of the Board to manufacture and the Board uses that power, will not this market be closed to the members of the society which I represent? "

Witness: "Not necessarily ; the Board will have the power to purchase from outside sources if it thinks it better to do so."

Right to Manufacture Stressed.

IN reexamination, Sir Henry Maybury maintained that it was desirable that. the Board should have power to manufacture. At present the Underground Group manufactured the bulk of its buses and a limited quantity of rolling stock through a company the shares of which it owned.

If the Board had power to manufac. tire it could arrange for supplies of vehicles and other equipment as they were required. At the same time, it could go out into the open market.

It was, Sir Henry continued, important to keep pace with the traffic requirements of an area and it would not always be possible to have the equipment made at the time it was wanted if the Board had no power to manufacture. In such circumstances a hopeless position would arise if ever a -ring of manufacturers was formed.

Receipts as a Common Fund.

DURING his. further evidence the

witness recommended the treatment of receipts from London traffic as a common fund, available for the needs of the .services as a whole, because the effect • would be to -broaden the basis of credit of all the undertakings.

• With regard td the Metropolitan Railway, he said it was essential that the service 'should he taken over by the -Board. The larger part of its traffic was in the inner 'ring of London, and .the system was closely interlocked with the whole of the Underground system.

Overloaded Buses and Insurance.

C1OT.1. HOWARD-BURY asked the ....)Minister of Transport whether, seeing that a bus which is licensed to carry 26' passengers and which at any time carries 27 becomes uninsured and that the passengers are automatically not covered, he will take steps to alter this position.

Mr. Morrison replied : If the owner of a bus which is insured while carrying not more than 26 passengers allows the vehicle to be used to convey a greater number of people, the vehicle is thereby uninsured and the operator commits an offence under Section 35 of the Road Traffic Act, 1930, whereby he renders himself liable to substantial penalties. I understand that it is possible to obtain insurance policies which cover the carriage of additional passengers.

Royal Commission'sThird Report.

THE Prime Minister states that the third report of the Royal Commission on Transport, which deals with the whole question of the further coordination and organization of transport, is under the consideration of the Government. • Congestion by Slow Traffic.

riAPT. AUSTIN HUDSON called attention to the congestion caused on arterial roads by slow-moving traffic proceeding in the middle of the road, and he suggested the erection of signs -at the entrances to such roads warning vehicles to keep to the left. He also thought that the Minister of Transport might confer with the Home Secretary with a view to utilizing the mobile police to prevent this cause of congestion.

Mr. Morrison pointed out that the recently issued Highway Code contained a definite injunctiou to drivers of slowmoving vehicles to keep to the left of the road, and he did not, therefore, consider that the signs which Capt. Hudson suggested were necessary. He would consult with the Home Secretary as to whether there was any need for drawing the special attention of the mobile police to the matter.

comments powered by Disqus