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Killarney wants Rubber Tyres and Motors.
The Editor, "THR COMMERCIAL MOTOR."
Sir :—Your courtesy to me in answering my last. enquiries encourages me to trouble you again on a few points. My horse omnibus, weighing about 44cwt. when tub Of passengers (20 to 22 people) is at my coachbuilders, being done up, and I am anxious to have your opinion re fitting same with solid rubber tyres. The omnibus is running only from May 1st to the middle of October. Would it pay? What life would such tyres have? If you believe I should get the tyres, what manufacture tyre would you recommend?
Another point I wish to have your opinion on comes next. I believe there is a good opening at my hotel during the summer months (May ist to October rst) for keeping at least one motorbar on the road : the carrying capacity should be about five and the chauffeur, in order to cater for tourists —particularly Americans, who come here in great numbers —who have done all the local trips, and would gladly stay on a few days longer if they had a motor available to take them, at so much per head, on circular day trips of, say, so to 6o miles around the South-west coast, which they now do by train and coach, if at all, and have to spend at ieast three days or longer in doing.
I should not care to expend some hundreds of pounds on a car as an experiment, and I am anxious to hear from you whether any of the large motor firms would be willing to give it a trial for a few months next summer; they could send their own chauffeur, whom I would keep free and pay a weekly wage to during that period. If the venture was a success, I should pay the hire of car, and, more than probably, invest in a new car for the next season. As you will see, by the list of patrons given in enclosed booklet, I get the very cream of the tourist traffic at this hotel, so that in itself might prove an inducement to some energetic firm to consider my suggestion from an advertising point of view if from no other; I would, of course, give all publicity possible to their car amongst all my visitors. The Irish firms, I regret to say, have not " push" enough to consider such a scheme : they would require full hire for the car, running or not, but I believe English firms are likely to be more ener• getic.—Yours faithfully, J. IVIATER LOUGHNALL, Royal Victoria Hotel, Killarney. December Ism, 1905.
[Solid rubber tyres of the proper section, say 2?, inches wide, should last not less than 15,000 miles in the conditions of work named, or say live years, when fitted to a horsedrawn omnibus with a gross laden weight of 44ewt. It would certainly pay to employ rubber tyres, which prolong the life of the vehicle and add greatly to its earning capacity by reason of the increased comfort and improved appearance. We publish our correspondent's letter in full in the belief that some of our trade supporters will put themselves in communication with him, both with regard to thetyres and self-propelled passenger vehicles generally. It is no experiment, nowadays, to purchase a motor charh.-bancs or wagonette for hiring purposes, and our correspondent's existing business renders success assured.-ED.] The Premier Omnibus Company.
The Editor," TETE COMMERCIAL MOTOR."
Sir :—There is a good deal to be said, even from a passenger's point of view, as to which of the present omnibus companies will be the premier company in the future, and as to whose motorbuses are to be the most popular in the years to come. As an old " motorbusser," I can actually speak from experience as to what vehicles we would rather patronise. There is one British make on the London streets which, to my mind, ought never to have been licensed for public service ! After vacating one of these vehicles, to step into cars of another make, which throng the particular route I have in mind, is like entering a mild species of Paradise. In doing 7,593 miles " motorbussing " since last February, I have got among a variety of public service motor vehicles, and can absolutely state that from a passenger's point of view there is one all-British motor omn:bus that equals the famous German makes—it is the Leyland ; I have been hundreds of miles on these machines, and have experienced thorough enjoyment in every run,
though, of course, I must admit that I am ignorant as to whether they are as economical to run and maintain as the foreigners. Regarding the premier omnibus company of future years, I am too fond of honour in my own country to prophesy, but, if I may venture to suggest it, this lead will apparently lie with one of the three allied exclusively motor companies, though it is more than doubtful whether any of them is keen about attaining to the honour, and why should they be? Will not their combined fleets, metaphorically speaking, sweep the streets of the metropolis? [We think not.— Eo.] So far as I can see, only one or two companies will offer them serious opposition. The horsed bus companies, which think that the public will put themselves out to patronise their motor omnibuses, are living in a fool's paradise. In the majority of cases, the public have nothing to thank the old companies for. Are we to be grateful for being carried at a snail's pace, at a charge of—in some instances-2d. per mile? Are we to he grateful to the giant
omnibus company which waited till the eleventh hour, and then hurriedly gathered together a "penny-the-lot-and-alldifferent" motor fleet? Are we to thank the old companies for cheap fares, when the palm for these is due to the company at present leading the motor allies? Without hesitation, I should say that all thanks are due to the three great allied companies for the blessing of motor passenger vehicles, and if we do not uphold them to our fullest extent we will be neglecting a duty.
The horsed bus companies are, naturally, trying to make a brave show, but it seems obvious that, with the exception of one or two, they are bound to be crippled for many years, apart from the fact of what they must lose in converting their stock. There is the statement that they have purchased so many first-class chassis, and that they expect to get them on the road by such a time; and—they would like to add—run the motor allies to bankruptcy. This is very good to tell uninitiated shareholders, but is of no effect on those who are watching the progress of the motor omnibus in the hands of the new companies. One of the allies, at any rate, has placed itself ahead of the latest horsed bus companies' move, by ordering all the new engines as much as, in some cases, ish.p. higher than the latest of the old companies. The threatened "keen competition" between motor and motor seems to me to be a kind of "black bogie" held out by the ignorant. Will rival motor vehicles chase each other round London in dozens, irrespective of patronage? It should be remembered that nearly twice as many people will use the motorbus as was the case with the old road services. The new vehicle appeals to three distinct classes : the converted " horsed busser," the people drawn from cabs, and the poor who can now afford to travel. If the motorbus has the qualities which we believe it to have, why not, in due course, taking Charing Cross as a centre, shower the suburbs to a distance of 25 miles or so with public motor services, so that they might be used as a means of getting to and from business? That, in my opinion, would be the way successfully to combat the street railway : carrying passengers over a portion of the line is useless; the thing is to carry them beyond each of the existing termini for a mile or so.—Yours faithfully, ARTHUR E. A. M. TURNER.
Ravnes Park, S.W., becember 21St, 1905.
The Editor invites correspondence on all subjects connected with the use of commercial motors. Letters should be on one side of the paper only, and type-written by preference. The right of abbreviation is reserved, and no responsibility for the views expressed is accepted.