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L.Motorcab Topics.

2nd September 1909
Page 14
Page 14, 2nd September 1909 — L.Motorcab Topics.
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Newcastle City Councillors are amongst the most regular patrons of inotorcabs on Tyneside.

The South Coast Motor Cab Co., Ltd., with a nominal capital of £100 in £1 shares, has been registered by Messrs. Hulbert, Crowe and Hulbert, of 4, Broad Street Buildings, E.C.

Mr. A. Inglis Shepherd, of Dundee, and other gentlemen, left Fleet Street, on Tuesday last, in one of the Napier cabs which have been purchased for service in the jute city.

More and more taxicabs are appearing on the streets of Sydney. Although only eight were at work by the end of July, all of which are standard Renaults, other makes are on order.

A F.I.A.T. taxicab has been put on the streets of Cardiff, by Mr. A. H. Morse of that city, and it has already established itself as the quietest-running and most-popular taxicab in the district.

A fleet of Argyll taxicabs is to be put on the streets of Edinburgh by Messrs. John Player, horse-cab proprietors, of the Scottish capital. They have been supplied through the Scottish Automobile Co., of Edinburgh.

The Ipswich taxicabs are being controlled from the Cambridge garage of the Provincial Motor Cab Co., Ltd., and are of the latest pattern 14-18 h.p. Darracq make. Mr. W. H. Cocking is responsible for their running, in common with those at other sub-depots to the Cambridge branch depot.

The liquidation of the Lancashire Taxicab Co., Ltd., of Liverpool, is proceeding. The directors state that the company's difficulties are due to heavy expenditure upon repairs to the cabs which they employed, and to the fact that they were being constantly laid up through breakdowns.

At Chicago.

Though at first rather averse to thc introduction of the taxicab, and the ultimate displacement of horse-drawn cabs, the citizens of Chicago have, at last, recognized the newer method of locomotion in the "city of distances." A recent strike of the drivers of horsedrawn cabs helped to bring about the change. During the progress of the strike, there was so much violence displayed by the horse cabbies that even funeral parties did not escape unmolested, and they had, therefore, to request police protection. At the present time, there are about 250 motoreabs, and 700 horsed cabs and hacks, in actual service in Chicago. The County Garage, Fishergate, Preston, is amongst the latest provincial garages to start a motorcab, but this is of the landaulet type, and is generally booked to private order.

General Motor Cab Co.

The current traffic returns of the General Motor Cab Co., Ltd., are sent to us as follow : Week ending Saturday, 28th August, £12,356.

Previous week, £12,454.

Corresponding week, 1908, £10,255. Decrease on previous week, £98. Increase on corresponding week, 1908, £2,101.

Total receipts from 1st August, 1909, .£52,849.

Increase on previous corresponding period, £7,171.

It should be noted that the above figures take no account of the average number of cabs in service.

A further dividend at the rate of 3.1 per cent. per annum, making seven per cent, for the year ended the 30th June last, is to be paid to shareholders in the General Motor Cab Co., Ltd. This compares with a total distribution of 13 per cent. for the previous 12 months. We understand that the annual meeting will take place early in October, and we are also informed that the underwriters of the £400,000 debentures, which were offered to the public a month ago. were left with slightly more than 90 per cent. of the issue on their hands.

Too Few Hackney-carriages in the Metropolis.

The many wet evenings of the past season served to draw attention to the disconcerting fact that, notwithstanding the multiplication of tubes, electric tramcars and other forms of public transport for passengers, London's hackney-conveyances are wholly inadequate for the needs of the season. In the old horse-cab days, the great majority of the cabbies used to take up their stand within the theatre area, and they were invariably available to take home the many thousands who each night pour out of London's places of entertainment. Not so, however, this year. Those taxicab drivers who have made enough money by nine o'clock, go home: many others of these drivers, by reason of the wide range of travel peculiar to the vehicles under their charge, are in the course of discharging orders here, there and everywhere, at points as much as 20 miles from Charing Cross, at 11 o'clock. The result is an undoubted shortage of hackney-carriages, and this brings in its train grave inconvenience for theatre-goers, and the ladies are affected most of all.

We do not see how the above difficulty will right itself, unless very many more applications for motorcab licences.; are made early next year. The total number of hackney-carriages will have to be maintained in the vicinity of 14,000. if London requirements are to be met properly, whereas, at the 1st July, 1909, there was only a total of 10,812. These were sub-divided thus : hansom cabs, 4,039; four-wheeled horsecabs, 3,379; motorcabs, 3,394. There is no question that the number of hansoms presents an artificial view of the situation, as probably not more than 3,000 were out each day, and probably a large number of the vehicles will not be presented for re-licensing. Horse-cabbies have been very prone to turn and jeer at the waiting crowd of theatre-goers, and to ask, sarcastically " Where are your taxis now ? " In these circumstances, it is absolutely ridiculous to suggest, as has been done in some quarters, that the total number of taxicabs should be limited to 5,000. That. number would be preposterously insufficient for Landon, even if all the cabs were kept within six miles of Charing Cross, and we can only hope that the growth of the small owner will help to remedy the deficiency.

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