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3rd August 1926, Page 14
3rd August 1926
Page 14
Page 15
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

An Analysis of the Report of the Edinburgh Corporation for the Past Municipal Year, in Which the Buses Were Run at a Profit.

IN OUR last week's issue we dealt at some length with the motorbus activities of the Glasgow Corporation and analysed the statistical returns relating to the operation of such vehicles during the authority's past financial year. Although Glasgow is of greater importance commercially than Edinburgh and possesses a population more than double that of the Scottish capital, the experience of its municipal legislators with buses is more limited than that of the authorities in the latter city.

Whereas the Glasgow Corporation nnly instituted services by such vehicles in December, 1924, the bus eiperienee of Edinburgh goes back to July, 1914, although road motor services have not been run uninterruptedly since that date. As a matter of fact, the services were abandoned after a very short life by reason of the vehicles being impressed for military uses, but that they were commenced so long ago is a tribute to the foresight of the authorities and of their recognition of the part which the motorbus was destined ultimately to play in the solution of the passenger transport problems of the age.

The national Crisis precluded the possibility of a -reinstatement of the' services in the succeeding years, but the corporation lost little •-kirk :after the close of the war in considering once

530 again the operation of passenger motor vehicles. It was in July, 1919, that the tramways system was taken over from the Edinburgh and District Tramways Co., Ltd., and concurrently the authorities brought into use a number of motor coaches for tourist traffic. A. few months later, on December 29th, to be precise, the corporation started a regular bus service between Ardmillan Terrace and Abbeyhill to supplement the tramway service, and this was extended to Easter Road in the fallowing March.

The success attending the operation of buses on this route induced the authorities to extend their efforts in this direction, with the result that 12 different regular bus routes are now worked as follow :—Easter Road, Bonnington, Juniper Green, Colinton, New Craighall, Cramond, Bath Street and New Craighall, Blackford, Cameron Toll, Lochend, Hillend, and Portobello and Surgeon's Hall. The last-named was started during the past year, and although the traffic returns are quite good from it during the summer they fall off in the winter months. Mr. It. Stuart Pilcher, M.Inst.T., the tramways manager, believes, however, that the route will, in the course of time, develop and eventually become a good paying one.

The corporation realizes that the suc

cess of its municipal bus undertaking hinges on meeting the public's requirements, and this factor is always considered in its true perspective. For instance, a night service was inaugurated in October, 1925, and continued until the end of April of this year ; it proved of great convenience and entirely justified the experiment. It is the corporation's intention to run the service of night buses each winter.

The annual report of the tramways e of the Edinburgh Corporation, whic has just been issued for the year ended May 15th last, makes interesting reading and contains much useful statistical matter relating to the buses, cf which the corporation had 73 in service at the end of the period covered by it. Of this fleet, 71 vehicles are '30-seater single-deckers, of which 41 are Leylands and the remainder The other buses are double-deckers with bodies each' to carry 54 people.

The other passenger-carrying vehicles run are 15 motor coaches nine of them being 27-seaters and the others 32seaters. The corporation fleet is still growing, however, and as recently as March last the town council sanctiened the purchase a four 52-seater doubledeckers, eight 32-seater single-deckers and three 14-seater coaches, and when these are commissioned for use the

municipal fleet of passenger motors will total 103 vehicles. .

The total revenue on the electric tram-.

car and motorbus systems in Edinburgh during the period with which we are concerned was £842,388 as compared with £806,573 in the previous year, whilst the number of passengers carried in the twelve months increased by 5,872,212 from 132,770,614.

These figures relate to the system as a whole, and we will now consider the returns for the buses and coaches elone.

The total revenue from the motorbuses amounted to £123,494, a figure which is £14,095 more than that for the previous

year. Naturally enough, this increasehas only been brought about by the fact

that a greater number of passengers has been carried, the actual figure being represented by the difference between 15,669,256 and 17,192,166.

Now the debit side of the accounts show that the outgoings totalled £113,374, so that the actual amount car ried to the net revenue account is £10,120. But from this sum there re mains to be deducted £8,187, being in terest and contribution to sinking fund (less interest received). Thus it will he seen that the net surplus was £1,933 and, since thee bus system was worked at a loss of £8,174 in the previous year, the corporation has every reason to feel satisfied with the good results secured and to anticipate even better figures in subsequent years, especially as profits of £12,429, £21,163 and £8,505 were re corded in the years ended May, 1921, 1922 and 1923 respectively.

Dissecting the debit side of the revenue account, we find that traffic ex7 penses absorbed £52,743 and general expenses 19,362, whilst Petrel. cost £22,468 and repairs and maintenance £27,801. In terms of per bus-mile these items are returned as follow :—Traffic expenses, 6,632d.; general expenses, 1.155d. petrol, 2.773d. (as against 3.083d. in the previous year) ; repairs and maintenance, 3.431d. (chassis, 1.582d.; bodies, .785d.; tyres, .924d., accounting for the major portion under this head). The percentage of working expenses to revenue was 91.78.

The aggregate mileage covered by Edinburgh's buses in the past year was 1,944,661 and the average number of miles credited to each bus per day was 110, these being covered at an average speed of 8.25 m.p.h., a mere fraction less thau the average rate at which the trams .ran. The total mileage of the routes served by the motorbuses in May last was 43.

The average traffic revenue per mile was 14.67d., the average total revenue per mile being 1524d. and, since the average working expenses amounted to 13.99d., it can quickly be ascertained that the surplus per bus-mile was 1.25d.

The average fare paid by each passenger is given at 1.613th and the average fare per mile at .994d., the average number of passengers carried per mile being 8.84.

The capital expenditure up to date on Edinburgh's buses and garages to house them is £226,835, of which sum £193,106 has been paid off. The outstanding debt is now £32,929, which includes a sum of £30,109 paid for the Industrial Hall, thepurchase of which was authorized by the town council to be used as a central garage for the motor department of the corporation. It is hoped that this scheme of centralizing the authority's road transport vehicles will enable considerable economies to be effected.

The manner in which the debt has been reduced year by year can be seen from the tabulation below, which also shows Other items of interest for the past six years:—


Locations: Glasgow, Edinburgh

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