Individual Ideas in Bus Bodywork
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EXTENSIONS to . the Addiestone works of . Metropolitan-CammellWeymann Motor Bodies, Ltd., have recently been required to deal efficiently with the large number of orders in nand. A new paint shop and finishing shop nave been built, and these additions are now proving of the utmost value in maintaining a smooth production flow.
Orders for nearly 1,000 bodies have been received at the Birmingham and Addlestone works of this Concern, the latter factory being responsible for the construction of 383 bodies of this total.
As a large number of the bodies incorporates the concern's well-known all-metal form of construction, a new degreasing plant and a Bonderizing bath have been installed. All the metal parts are cleaned in the degreasing plant, after which they are rust-proofed by the Bonderizing process. They are then painted with carbolastic paint. In those cases where aluminium-alloy and steel parts meet, the components are treated with dialectric paint to prevent electrolytic action between the two metals.
A patented tubular pillar form is a feature of the design. The framing is braced by panels of 18-gauge copperbearing steel for the whole of its length between the crib rail and waist rail on the lower deck, and between the floor and seat rail on the upper deck. The
panels form an inner shell of great strength.
Among the many interesting bodies that we saw during a recent visit to the Addlestone works, was a number of 52seater low-height all-metal doubledeckers mounted on A.E.C. Regent chassis for City of Oxford Motor Services, Ltd. The overall height (laden) is 13 ft. 3 ins.
Ventilation has, received careful attention. In addition to 10 WidneyStuart half-drop windows, there is, on the lower deck, an outside louvred ventilator with an interior distributor on the front bulkhead. Four Ashanco extractors are provided on the roof and are used in conjunction with a raised concave panel running for the whole length of the upper deck.
All M.-C.-W. bodies incorporate special rubber beading for the clutch cowling, which is fixed to the floor boards. This beading gives a furneless joint and allows the cowling easily to be lifted with the floor section, without the need for undoing a number of setscrews around the face: A neW form of Resistoid spiral hand grip was a feature of the grab rails on a number of 56-seaters for Mansfield Corporation. They were also notable for an attractive light-oak interior finish. •• Reduction of weight has been an important consideration in the.design of bodies for Sheffield Corporation, and these incorporate duralumin waist rails and steel kicking panels. The interior panels are cut away to minimize weight. The use of .a 'single handle which, in conjunction with a gearbox, gives independent operation of three blinds,on the 1Vhitlay route indicator is another point of interest.
On a number of bodies with sunken upper gangways, built for Maidstone and District Motor Services, Ltd., the underside of the lower-deck roof on the off side is padded to minimize the results of passengers bumping their heads. On the near side of the lower saloon, a commodious parcel rack, also padded on the underside, is provided.. Rawlings P.Y.P. winding windows are used in both saloons.
An accompanying illustration shows one of several single-deck buses built for the Devon General Omnibus and Touring Co., Ltd. The body is of cOrnposite construction and is mounted on the Leyland Lion chassis, Good accommodation is provided for luggage, a large container being incorporated in the roof.
Another M,-C,-W, all-metal coach body for London Transport, mounted on an A.E.C. Regal chassis, is, we understand, to have a somewhat novel treatment of the front end.
The Weymann form of construction still retains its popularity, particularly for vehicles which are required to operate over bad roads. A number of this type is under construction.
We also noticed some Leyland Cub prison vans, each having 14 cells, for the Metropolitan Police. An ingenious opening emergency roof extends for the full length of each side of the vehicle above the cells, and the control is operated from the driver's cab, EXTENDED tours, for which, dark:. ing the past six months, the North-Western Traffic Commissioners have practically refused to grant additional facilities, were considered by the Commissioners on Monday and Tuesday.
Some months ago the Commissioners decided that, with regard to pickingup points, extended tours were getting beyond control. The Minister of Transport, in a ruling on appeal by a Wigan operator, having laid down certain principles to which the Commissioners must have regard, the NorthWestern Commissioners annminced that the whole position must " be reviewed de novo. The chairman, Mr.. W. Chamberlain, intimated to the applicants, on Monday,. that. this inquiry did not necessarily mean that any operator would be deprived ofexisting-facilities; but each case would be considered on its Merits.
Three systems have .been -.tried the past. At firstthere was no definition of the. routes on which the various tours should be operated, and picking-up points were freely author ized. Later, the picking-up points wen., restricted to a definite route. Next a concession Was made that, on special applications, permission, might be given to operators to pick up prebooked passengers at places off the line of route.
One group of operators, on Monday, represented by Mr. W. 131ackhurst, desired the " routeing " of all tours in the way suggested by the Minister, the services being licensed to converge on Wigan, which would be used as a central clearing ground.
Another group, represented by Mr. H. Ba.ckhouse, whilst concurring generally . in this scheme, wished to retain the privilege, under special permission, of ,deviating from one route to another to eliminate wasteful running.
A point around which much of the controversy centred was that of " fan
tail " touring from the main destination of the extended tours.
The Comntissioners are requiring evidence of need in all cases and adjourned the sittings in order that figures relating to passengers carried may be submitted. A further re-View of extended tours is to be made in Yorloalaire. Months of delay in the announcement of the Minister of Transport's decisions on a number of Yorkshire appeals coneerning 'long-date tours has caused still further delay, in that renewal applications, heard by the Commissioners last December, have to be reheard at Dewsbury on April 3.
The Minister's long-awaited pronouncement, reported in The Corn= mercial Motor on March 13, did -not make any order on the Commissioners, and, in effect, referred the points at issue back to the Commissioners for further consideration on the renewal applications. But the delay had been such that these applicationS bad already been heard, and the Commissioners had reserved their decision pending the result of the appeals.
In announcing that the applications are to be reheard, the Commissioners state that this is for the purpose of dealing with certain major problems of principle which have not yet been fully argued before them, but which were the subject of further representations at the appeal inquiry.
BID FOR MORE VARIED EXCURSIONS
M0ST Yorkshire excursion operators have applied to the Traffic Commissioners for increased terminal points. In the applications, emphasis has been laid chiefly on the desirability of giving the public a• wider choice of excursions, and on the fact that an increase in terminal points does not involve an addition to the number of vehicles licensed.
The additional facilities asked for are principally in respect of half-day. excursions. A feature of the position in Leeds is that, hitherto, only four operators have been licensed to operate half-day excursions to Scarborough. It has been found that the public in industrial towns is partial to Sunday hall-day trips to the seaside, and other operators in Leeds feel that they shoe I have an opportunity of catering for such traffic to Scarborough.
They point out that this would not mean inoreased competition with the railways or the bus services, as the excursion traffic is cOntrolleci by rota.
APPEAL ON ONE-WAY TRAFFIC.
CEVERAL operators—Messrs. Davies Summerhill, Messrs. Simon Williams, Broughton, Messrs. Johnsons Motors, Southsea, and Messrs. Williams and Hodson, Marchwiel—a.ppealed, last week, against the decision of the North Western Traffic Commissioners to pro.hibit -outward services through Wrexham from King Street Parking Ground, via Lord Street, Queen Street, and Regent Street.
Mr. R. C. Roberts, for certain of 'the . appellants, pointed out that the Commissioners had decided that one-way traffic in the .town was a failure," hilt it had never been tried out in that part of the town where the congestion Wi.F most alleged. The small oparators asked that this system of one-way traffic he tried on the streets concerned. He contended that the public should be able to board buses anywhere.
Mr. Cyril Jones. for Messrs. Davies Bros., submitted that the only solution of congestion was to introduce one-way traffic along the streets in question and to enforce a ruling that all stationary vehicles should stand on only one side . of the street. The Commissioners' -clodsion could not solve the problem. Public service vehicles constituted only a quarter of the total traffic using the streets. The small operators should be given fairplay and not be forced to sustain serious losses.
Mr. Lawson Taylor (town clerk of Wrexham) said that the public did not have to walk more than 300-400 yds..-to • the parking grounds and the Commis, • sioners' decision should be upheld.
BRIGHT .HOPES IN MUNICIPAL FIELD
RDEPORTS received from correspondents concerning municipal-transport Operation during the current year are, for the most part, encouraging. In some cases, valuable profits are anticipated also next year.
Darlington Corporation's troIleybus system shows an estimated profit of £2,900 for the current year. Wallasey's motorbus undertaking has . yielded a profit of £14,129 and a surplus of £4,000 is expected next year. Blackpool records the remarkable surplus of £42,911, against the original estimate of £36,850. For 1936-1937 a profit of £41,490 is expected.
• Estimates submitted to Halifax Tramways Committee, last week, show a 'profit of £10,244 on the combined bus and tram undertaking. Actually, the trams are responsible for a loss of £16,973. Bradford expects a net profit of £39,639 this year and £33,400 in the next 12 months.
Liverpool Corporation's budget for the current year anticipates a deficit of £26,505 on the motorbuses and a loss of £1,430 next year. Under the zoning scheme with Ribble Motor Services, -Ltd., and Crosville Motor Services, Ltd., the corporation hopes for a net profit of £6,550.
FREE PASSES: SUMMONSES ISSUED.
ON the instructions of the Director of Public Prosecutions, South Shields chief constable has been granted summonses against three members of the watch committee in connection with the issue of free travel passes to members of the council. The local ratepayers' association alleges that members of the council have infringed the Local Government Act.
LONDON TRANSPORT AGAIN FINED.
ON Tuesday, London Transport was again fined at the Guildhall, London, for permitting a bus to emit excessive smoke. The charge against the driver was dismissed on payment of 3s. costs.
Pleas of guilty were entered, and the Board was fined £5, with £2 2s. costs. It was stated that regulators and inspectors were now empowered to remove from service any bus that showed signs of not being in perfect condition.
SLUM CLEARANCE COMPLICATES COMPUTATIONS.
ANEW problem in passenger transport, caused by slum-clearance schemes and the removal of the occupiers of the demolished houses to new suburban dwellings, was mentioned by Mr. W. Vane Morland, Leeds Corporation's transport manager, during a lecture at Leeds.
A few years ago, he said, it was possible to estimate almost exactly what would be the transport requirements of the new townships which were then being developed on the outskirts of B44
the city, and what would be the receipts from the services. . But with the advent of the slum-clearance schemes, all their ideas in that direction had had to go into the melting pot, and, so far, their efforts to find some new method of computation had not been very successful.
YORKSHIRE TRANSFER MOVE.
THE Yorkshire Woollen District
Transport Co., Ltd., Dewsbury, has applied to the Yorkshire Traffic Commissioners for permission to take over services "operated by Messrs. Edwin Bak and Sons, Dewsbury, including stage services to football matches, an express service to Blackpool, groups of extended tours • from Bradford, Halifax and Dewsbury, and excursions and tours from Dewsbury and Batley.
• REVOCATION OF LICENCE SUGGESTED
\WHEN the East Midland Traffic VV Commissioners sat at Lincoln, last week, applications for the renewal of the licences of Crabtree Services, Ltd„ Grantham, were refused, on the ground that the company's three vehicles were not maintained in a roadworthy condition.
Mr. J. H. Stirk (chairman), addressing the company's representative, said: "Your services are grossly inismanaged, your time-table is not being adhered to, your drivers are not receiving a proper wage, and unless you at once put your business on a sound footing we shall hand over your licences to some other operator, who will use them properly."