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28th March 1918, Page 20
28th March 1918
Page 20
Page 20, 28th March 1918 — OPINIONS FROM OTHERS.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Transport ! Transport !! Transport !! !

The Edttor, THE COMMERCIAL MOYOR..[15951 Sir,—I have read with considerable interest the letter in your issue of the 14th March •by your contributor "Entomologist." 'What are we to say in respect of his proposals to make the railway goods yards the collecting ground for all those loads which the road Vehicles have been imable to secure by other methods ? He says:— 4 " L e t all loads be delivered (or advised as being ready for collection) to the railway goods yard. Let them call at the goods yards on the return journey and a load be asked for. Let an advice (by a call on the outward journey or by telephone) be given that the lorry will be returning and require a load—anything of that sort is reasonable iziul practicable. . . With regard to rates, 6d. per ton-mile must be obtained and consignors on their adv..ces" (I presume consignment notes is meant) "to the goods yard would say whether or not they were orepa,red in return for the rapid delivery. to pay the special road rate. The railways must be made to acquiesce in the scheme, and be prepared . to let all the short hauls go by road." '[The italics were suggested by our correspondent.----En.]

Ye go& ! Reasonable and practicable

In the first place, it is not possible in equity to compel anyone to allow the use of their vrennses as a, warehouse for services outside those incidental to their business, and especially is this true of the failways whose primary function is " cOnVeyance by rail." But even supposing this service we're thrust upon them by the legislature—the only corripetent authority . for doing so—it would still be open to the companies to charge what they thought fit, as there is no limitation to their powers in that direction in respect of warehousing "not incidental to conveyance." , : Even supposing all that were accomplished, one is only at the beginning of the troubles .and absurd situations which the proposal is likely to create. First, the overwhelming bulk of traffic is collected by the companies' own teams. After collecting it and bringing it down to the warehouse, all speciallymarked goods for an alternative road transit would require to be separately sorted out and stored. Would it remain on hand waiting for a motorvan to come along ? And how much delay would be tolerated by the firms for that purpose ? Or, after being sorted out, would it need to he put bakk again the same day , for ordinary transit? If a. hitch occurred_and the


goods got overlooked through this continual handling and sorting, who would be responsible for the delay

• and consequent losses?

Supposing this is satisfactorily adjusted, would the sender in addition to the 6d. per ton-mile pay the ordinary cartage charges to the railways, which are levied on traffic delivered not subject to 0 and D charges ? These are roughly as follow in the provinces : Classes I, 3s. 2d, ; II, 3s. 5d. ; III, 3s. 8d. ; IV, 4s. 3d. ; V, 5s. id. per ton ; and very nearly double in the Metropolis. Besides cartages, would they also be prepared to pay for each of the different handlings at the maximum rates which a, railway may charge. Or, again, who will pay the railways for the clerical work connected with the goods they transfer to the road vehicle? , Apart from the obvious injustice of such an arrangement and the practical impossibility of working it, there are the difficulties in the matter of the rates and the fixing of through figures ; nor would the mere willingness of the sender to pay 6d. per ton-mile, or about three times the average rail charge taking all classes of traffic into consideration and confining the area to short distances, in any way solve them. Nor can we ignore the tremendous difficulties from a legal aspect: Who in such a case would be the man_datory, bailee of the traffic and be responsible for its safe keeping? Would the contract be made with the railway, who merely carted the goods to the goods depot, or with the road-vehicle owner who carried it all the way to its destination? If a breakage oecurred, or a cla,naage or anything else, who would be saddled with it and who would be the party liable under the carrier's law, for it would often be utterly iniPoSsible te.deternaine where the damage occurred? AU theSe are points utterly impoSsible to adjuirt, and the result would be chaos of a pronounced type, Besides, how could a railway trust any goods to a chance motor coming along or verify its credentials.

Why drag the railwaya in at all? If it be impossiblefor the principle Of back loading to be applied with

out recourse to the railway goods yard, it is doomed at the very commencement. No ! road motor transport is not to solve its difficulties in that way nor are they friends of its future who attempt to saddle it with schemes like these. If they were merely "plants put out by the companies to discredit motor, transport authorities they could not more effectu0.11Sr achieve their objeet.—YourS faithfully,



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