The Motor Omnibus World.
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
" The Tribune," in its issue of the 29th ultimo, refers to the reassuring influence of the tilting experiment with a Birmingham motorbus, of which we reproduced a photograph in the last issue of " THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR."
Rawtenstall Corporation has advanced its motorbus programme a stage further. It will seek Parliamentary powers, in the next session of Parliament, as part of its Bill authorising the acquirement of the tramways in the Borough, as well as of the Bacup tramway system.
The Corporation of Sheffield, in addition to its programme for the provision of motor omnibuses for public service .purposes, has approved a recommendation of its Hospitals Committee that a 24h.p. omnibus should be purchased to convey patients between the various hospitals. It is hoped that the new vehicle will replace no less than five horse-drawn ambulances.
At the last meeting of the council of the Society of Motor Omnibus Engineers for the year 19°6, held at the Hotel Cecil, Strand, W.C., the chair was occupied by Mr. F. C. A. Coventry (Great Western Railway), chairman of the society.
Lubrication Research.—The position in regard to the testing of various engines and lubricants, at the society's laboratory at Putney, was discussed, and it was directed that a meeting of the council should take place at the laboratory, and that Mr. H. G. Burford, of MiInes-Daimler, Limited, should be invited to attend.
The further meeting of council was subsequently held at Putney, when Mr. Burford's offer to place one of his latest-type engines at the disposal of the society was accepted, and the necessary arrangements for a series of tests were, tentatively, agreed to. It is hoped that a preliminary report will be available for presentation at the March meeting of members and associates.
Associate Members.—The following new associate members were elected : —J. W. Fenner (London Motor Omnibus Company), J. W. Cann (Folkestone), A. W. Windsor (London General Omnibus Company), and G. H. Challener (Bristol).
Apropos the suggestions of the London County Council, that motorbuses should be taxed, representatives of Lon'don " tube " interests are drawing attention to their view that justice is not done to these undertakings. Notwithstanding the extent to which they relieve the streets of traffic, "tubes" are assessed to the local rates. It is considered, that the permission now accorded to motorbuses to run on the streets free of charge, whilst railways and tubes contribute to the upkeep of the thoroughfares, which they do not use, is absurd. These arguments will, no doubt, be considered by the London Traffic Board, when that body is constituted, but no charge for the use of roads can, equitably, be levied upon motorbuses unless all wheeled traffic is similarly taxed.
A mot or-om n i bus driver, named Thomas W. Young, in the employ of the London Road Car Company, Limited, was fined 205. with two guineas costs, before Mr. Denman, at the Marlborough Street Police Court on Friday last, for alleged reckless driving in Piccadilly. Young's omnibus, which was stated by the prosecution to have been travelling at more than is miles an hour, side-slipped, opposite the Junior Constitutional Club, into an electric light standard. The defence was, that the vehicle was going at the very steady speed of between eight and lo miles an hour, whilst the driver maintained that, although the bus side-slipped, he was going slowly enough to have time to warn a cabman to get out of the way at the very Tamp that was struck. This case appears, to us, to be one of considerable hardship for the driver.
Mr. Hugh H. Gregory, who has resigned his position as engineer to the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company, Limited, sails for South Africa, on Saturday next, the sth
stant, on a visit to his home in Cape Town. He will, also, visit Johannesburg, Kimberley and other South African towns, before he returns to London in time for the next Olympia Show.
The Birmingham Watch Committee, at its Last meeting for the Old Year, decided not to license any more of the early-type Milnes-Daimler omnibuses in that City, unless the vehicles were converted to chain drive, in accordance with the method illustrated and described in "THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR" Of July 26th last. It is difficult to follow why Birmingham should decide upon a course which has been found unnecessary in any other part of the country. MilnesDaimler vehicles run sufficiently quietly in London, to meet the exacting requirements of the Metropolitan and that testimony should be accepted as conclusive, whilst the enclosed racks of the 1907 model get over the one serious objection to the transmission.
With the snow and the pantomime season, the motorbus, is again strongly in evidence in various roles. At Drury Lane, on a stage motorbus, an exciting journey is 'undertaken each evening, and, worked in conjunction with a Tolling platform and a panoramic scene, it causes considerable amusement. In an account of a fire on a motorbus, during the cold snap, the conductor is reported as haying behaved with great " sang froid," remarking to the passengers that, at last, they "had a chance of getting warm." In another case a bus partly descended into an area, but we are not informed whether or no this feat was undertaken in order to reach the kitchen fire—or the cook. The report current that the wheels of motorbuses are to be replaced by runners may be dismissed as being without foundation, the snow having been run off the streets.