THE ARRANGING OF BUS TIME-TABLES.
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Has the Operator or the Licensing Authority the Power to Fix Times of Running ?
T" authorities to fix bus time-tables question as to the right of local
has been raised at Woking in connection with applications for licences from the Aldershot and District Traction Co., Ltd., and from the London General Omnibus Co., Ltd. The Woking Urban District Council, before issuing licences, desired to know if the companies would undertake to run only over rotes and in accordance with time-tables previously approved by the council.
The Aldershot and District Traction Co., Ltd., expressed regret at the council's desire to attach such conditions, since it considered it the function of the operators of the services to fix
run, and added "In the case of such a company as this, which is running seryices over wide areas, the time-tables have to be planned with the greatest care and thought, so as to connect with other services, and in many cases to provide through services between the various districts. . . If various councils through the areas of which these services operate endeavour to control times of running it will be impossible to work these through services." It was mentioned that all the other 20 odd councils through the areas of which this company operates have realized this fact and have not attached conditions to the licences.
Mr. Mossop, the clerk to the 'council, B41 in his reply to the points raised, stressed the, fact that if the company were allowed to run buses over any route and at any time it would lead to confusion, ak other proprietors would naturally expect to be granted the same free hand. He expressed the opinion that the company should give the undertaking required and this it agreed to do, at the same time emphasizing the fact that it is not one of the functions of a licensing authority to act as an expert in the drawing up or approving of bus time-tables.
Commenting upon this correspondence,' and in issuing the licences, the Woking Licensing Committee observes that it considers it essential in the interest of the public and to ensure the
proper working of the various buses running over particular routes that the time-tables should be, satisfactory to the committee. If any attempt be made to run buses at times of which the committee does not approve, ft will deal with the matter when the licences come up for renewal.
Correspondence with the London General Omnibus Co., Ltd., was much on the same lines, but the traffic manager of the company informed the council that the routes operated by the, company were those duly approved by the licensing .authority under the London Traffic Act, 1924, the time-tables and fare lists being deposited with that authority as provided in that Act.
The clerk to the council informed the Company that Woking is within the London area, but is not within the Metropolitan Police district. On this Point, the licensing committee states that under the London Traffic Act, 1924, the London and Home Counties Advisory Committee was set up to assist the Minister of Transport in regulating the traffic within the London traffic area, within which Woking is situated. Section II of that Act, however, which deals with the establishing of routes known as "approved routes" only 'applies to London and the Metropolitan police area, and Woking is not in that area. The licensing committee, in granting licences temporarily, has arranged for a discussion on the subject with the company.