Coal Rates T alks Again?
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A PROSPECT of renewed negotiaI-1. lions to obtain a national rates classification for the road haulage of coal is indicated in the annual report of the Road Haulage Association's Yorkshire West Riding Area.
Representatives of the coal distributors, the R.H.A. and the National Coal Board met in London, last autumn, to discuss the establishment of such a basis, with variable differentials to cover local circumstances. At the same time the need arose for emergency arrangements to transport coal by road during the winter months.
The scheme for compulsory diversion of coal from rail to road gave rise to protracted negotiations, which eventually resulted in extremely friendly relations between the distributors and the road haulage industry.
"During this time, however, the difficulties of agreeing to a national rates basis had not decreased," the report adds, " but it is pleasant to
report that indications now show the negotiations in this respect can be resumed, with some promise of success, in the immediate future."
Stating that the Road-Rail Negotiating Committee for the area has continued to be of the greatest possible assistance to operators, the report says that the Licensing Authority's confidence in the committee is evidenced in the arrangements whereby, if the committee reaches agreement in respec: of a licence application, the application is, in many instances, granted in chambers and without the need for a public inquiry.
From January last year to the compilation of the report, the Licensing Authority granted 172 licences in chambers. From its inception in 1946 the committee considered 1.328 applications, with the result that 382 agreements were reached, 48 applications were withdrawn, and 272 objections were -withdrawn.