Free Travel to End Pending Appeal
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ASPECIAL meeting of Birmingham General Purposes Committee decided on Monday to appeal against Mr. Justice Vaisey's decision that the corporation's scheme providing free travel on buses for old people is invalid (The Commercial Motor, last week).
It was also decided, pending the appeal, not to apply to the West Midland Licensing Authority for permission to continue the scheme after the present dispensation ends next Tuesday.
Mr. G. V. Prescott, the ratepayer who had challenged the legality of the scheme, has said that he will fight an appeal as far as the House of Lords.
It is understood that none of the schemes used by the Miler transportoperating municipalities is the same as that existing in Birmingham, where the cost is wholly charged to the rates.
At both Bel fast aiid Hull, for example, cost of concession fares and free travel for old-age pensioners and others is borne entirely by the respective transport departments.
Mr. E. H. Bullock, town clerk of Hull, has pointed out, however, that on the recent ruling the schemes are invalid, irrespective of the source of the money.
In Belfast, old-age pensioners are permitted to travel for 1d. between 10 a.m. and noon, and 2.30 p.m. and 4.30 p.m., from Monday to Friday, inclusive. The question of extending the concession to apply after 7 p.m. is being considered.
In Hull, where the transport committee last week decided to take no action on the ruling, there have been free-travel facilities for old-age pensioners since 1920. About 6,000 people, including blind and limbless ex-Service men, benefit from the scheme.
TIGER CUB SLIMMER
HE Leyland Tiger Cub is now I being made available in a width of 7 ft. 4f in. to comply with legal restrictions in a number of overseas countries. The first models to be built to this dimension will be shipped to Norway to meet orders for 50 of these vehicles from various private operators. At least 20 will incorporate the pneumo-cyclic gearbox.
NO ACTION ON WAITING
MO action has been taken by the Ham
mersmith Borough Council on the request of the National Road Transport Federation for careful consideration of the Federation's protest to the Ministry of Transport against proposals to restrict the loading and unloading of goods vehicles in parts of London.
RATES UP 6 PER CENT.
BECAUSE of increases in costs over the past 21. years, transport rates, except those for hire cars, are to be advanced by 6 per cent. by Oldham Corporation. They are doing so on the recommendation of the Amalgamated Horse and Motor Owners' Association.
Industry has Backed . Government
THE road haulage industry had backed the Government's denatianalization scheme in spite of threats of renationalization, declared Mr. R. G. Crowther, a vice-chairman of the Road Haulage Association, at the annual dinner of the Scottish Area in Glasgo* last Saturday.
"Results of sales to date show that although only a little over half of the vehicles offered for sale have been sold,65 per cent. of the purchasers were already engaged in road haulage," he said.
R.H.A. members had made many repeat purchases, showing their faith in the future of free enterprise and their belief that denationalization should be done in a practical way.
"Many of us, such as our national chairman, Mr. James Barrie, and the vice-chairmen of the Association, have risked our capital in justification of our faith. We do not feel that it is sufficient to support denationalization in words alone, but only by buying a large percentage of the assets offered for sale ourselves can the restoration of road haulage to private enterprise be assured of success," Mr. Crowther stated.
It was the Association's duty to protect members and, equally, the interests of purchasers of units, to obtain stability of ownership and free the industry from political interference by any party.
BLACKPOOL TO OFFSET LOSSES IN an attempt to offset losses on the I corporation undertaking—estimated to be £204,915 by March, 1957— Blackpool Transport Committee decided last week to recommend certain reductions in facilities.
Recommendations include the withdrawal of free passes for conference delegates, that workpeople's certificates be available only up to 9 a.m., the abolition of most contract tickets, and higher rates for scholars' tickets.
Decision on concessionary fares for old people and free transport for employees of the transport department was deferred. No action was taken on concessions for disabled and blind people, and free passes for members of the town council.
TRAMS DIE HARD
THERE was opposition to Liverpool I Corporation's application to the North Western Licensing Authority, last week, to convert certain tram routes to motorbus operation. Mr. G. R. Thomson, secretary of the Liverpool Transport Development Association, suggested that members of the council who did not like the conversion scheme feared to express their views in case they were not in line with party policy. Mr. R. Hanford, an engineer and surveyor, said that modern trams on enclosed tracks were the ideal form of public transport.
After a full day, the hearing was adjourned until November 1.
• Men in the News
Ma. DONALD BASTOW has been appointed technical assistant to the Managing director of Metalastik, Ltd.
GEN. SIR ROY BUCHER has accepted an invitation to become chairman of the Yorkshire Transport Users' Consultative Committee.
MR. K. A. MActtaN, formerly assistant to the general works manager of the Northern Aluminium Co.. Ltd., has been appointed head of the fabricating division of Aluminium Labordlories. Ltd.
MR. G. G. SMERDON, who has been a temporary member of the Transport Arbitration Tribunal since April, has been appointed a member to succeed MR. W. H. NEVILI, who has resigned on account of ill-health.
MR. C. D. POPLE has retired from the managing directorship of Locomotors, Ltd. His career as a bodybuilder started over 50 years ago when -he repaired and painted the barrows and van of Hovis. Ltd. The business which developed from these beginnings became established as Locomotors, Ltd., in 1946. Mr. Pople'a duties will be taken over and shared by MR. H. S. HARDMAN and MR. F. J. GUYATT.
Pay Claim Kills Fare Application
IN view of the claim for a further wage increase of El a week for bus workers employed by municipal undertaking, (The Commercial Motor, last week), Leeds Corporation have withdrawn their application for higher fares which was to have been heard by the Yorkshire Licensing Authority on Wednesday.
Aid. I. Rafferty, chairman of the transport committee, stated that if the wages application was granted in full, the addition to the undertaking's costs would be about £200,000 a year. Even if it was granted only in part, the fare increases which had been proposed would be insufficient.
The application which has been withdrawn aimed to increase revenue by about £250,000 a. year. The department lost £64,392 during the 'financial year ended March 31 last, making an accumulated deficit of £434,525.
DIPLOMA FOR ELECTRICIANS
A,SCHEME .for the registration of auto-electrical craftsmen was Agreed in principle by the Association of Autoelectrical Technicians_ in Londonr on Monday. The approval .of the education authorities will now be sought.
The main objectives of the proposed scheme are to raise the status . of the electrician in the automobile industry, to improve the standard of craftsmanship and to promote confidence between entployee, employer and the public.
An examination, including written and practical tests, is suggested, for which successful candidates' would receive a certificate and badge, The project is similar to the pre-war repair certificate of the former Institution of Automobile Engineers.
Holders of the new A.E.T. certificate would be invited to become members of the Association of Auto-electrical Technicians.
STATE TAKE-OVER ILLEGAL
THE Uttar 'Pradesh Road Transport Act, 1951, which gave the State the exclusive right to run road transport services, has been declared ultra vires by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of the Indian Government.
The Act was challenged in three appeals and 224 petitions filed by private operators. The Bench decided that the Act infringed constitutional rights.