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OPINIONS and QUERIES A Police Constable's Views on the Road Traffic Act.

5th January 1932, Page 44
5th January 1932
Page 44
Page 45
Page 44, 5th January 1932 — OPINIONS and QUERIES A Police Constable's Views on the Road Traffic Act.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?


[3813] am writing to you my views on some of the recent legislation concerning hauliers. I am now a member of the police force, but I was formerly a driver engaged on the Glasgow-Manchester-London route.

Many persons write to you complaining about the clause concerning drivers' hours in the Road Traffic Act. How many times in the past have drivers (some paid a fixed wage) been working for nearly the full 24 hours, and, after returning to the garage, been ordered to go out again on another journey? I once brought an urgent load from Glasgow to Salford in one day, delivered the load, and went to the garage, where I was told to go with a load to Willesden. I refused to go without six hours break, and was dismissed.

I went to another firm and obtained a job. After coming in one day, my chief said, "I've seen your late employer, and he told me what you were dismissed for. He said he could not rely on you."

I wonder if any of your whining correspondents practised this before the advent of the Road Traffic Act?

Other correspondents bewail small regulations which they did not know about until the officer told them. If they were, as I still am, regular readers of your valuable journal, that is no excuse, because the smallest of regulations is always in your journal months before it comes into effect.

I was conversing with a small haulier in Manchester recently, when a third party said to him, "You will soon be under the same regulations as the buses." He replied, "My wagons are in as good order as I or anyone else can keep them. I hope it comes quickly." In my opinion, this would be welcomed by a good many

hauliers. P.C. Yorkshire.

Has Government Interference Helped Passenger Transport?


[3614] Sir,—In reply to "Traffic Superintendent's letter published in your issue dated December 22nd, he seems to think that my arguments are vague and off the mark. Well, whether they are or not I reiterate what I said.

He thinks that we shall have to have Government interference by legislation, to safeguard those already in the road-transport industry. Well, I ask him, can he honestly say that Government interference has benefited or safeguarded the passenger-carrying industry? I say it has not, and I instance the public outcry and questions in Parliament at the present time regard 3330 ing this iegislatien. The only people who have benefited from the legislation are the big combines ; they have been granted virtual monopolies, to the exclusion of the small operators.. Regarding the licensing of goods vehicles, I think that this is impracticable, as the loads and the journeys of goods vehicles are so diverse and spasmodic that it would be a waste of time and money trying to regulate them; besides, we cannot afford to have any more bureaucratic control.

Regarding the pirate operators who come in and cut rates, I do not see that any established and wellmanaged firm should fear them, as there is a limit below which any transport operator cannot go, except to jeopardize his position, and he cannot go on indefinitely. There is only one ending to working below economic rates; besides, it is not only the small operator who cuts rates, as I have personal experience of rates being chopped by some of the largest concerns. I find myself in complete agreement on two points raised by "Traffic Superintendent." One is that of trying to fix rates amongst the operators themselves; as he says, this would not work. I have had experience of this in past associations. The second is, his remarks about the railways; they are certainly out for business and we shall have to be on our mettle.

In conclusion, the possibilities facing the road-transport industry are: socialization of all means for transport, monopolization by a few individual firms, or progress under private and unfettered enterprise. I claim that the last is the best for us, the best for the public and the best for the manufacturer. The most urgent and the most important benefit which we could have would be a reduction of taxation of at least 50 per cent.

I much appreciate " Southern's " reinarks about my original letter ; he shows a true grasp of the situation as it exists to-day. NORTHERN OPERATOR.


The Unreasonable Attitude of the Yorkshire Traffic Commissioners.


[3615] Sir,—With reference to my letter to you of July 31st and your reply of August 10th, in respect of my application for the backing of a licence for tours in the Yorkshire area, I have received a further letter (after some time has elapsed, and after pointing out to the Commissioners that they were bound to consider my application), a copy of which I enclose. I also enclose a copy of my reply. I note that in the case of an appeal I should have to bear the expense, so that I do not see any possibility of carrying out my threat in my letter to the Commissioners.

At the same time, I shall, if possible, do something more in the matter. The application is in respect of two tours only, to be run once per year each. I have had Rfferent treatment at Nottingham (E.M. area), where I was informed, together with others (I attended, as Nottingham is not too far away), that there was no need to appear in respect of "backing" applications.

No doubtthese particulars will be of interest to other operators, and I hope that you will publish them. I wrote about this matter to a prominent daily paper, which declined to publish the facts.

I await your further reply with interest and many thanks. (MTS.) EDITH JONES. Longton.

Letter from Traffic Commissioners, Yorkshire Area, November 25th, 1931:— " Ma.dam,—I am directed by the Traffic Commissioners for the Yorkshire area to refer to your application under ref. B1443, which has been re-listed for hearing in Part 2, 'Notices and Proceedings' No. 31, dated November 13th, 1931, at the Public Sitting to be held at the Law Courts, Clifford Street, York, on December 4th, 1931, and to state that should you again fail to attend they will have no alternative but to dismiss your. application."

Letter to the Commissioners, November 28th :—

" Dear Sirs,—In reply to your letter reference B1443, I very much regret the attitude taken by you in respect of this application.

"Full particulars have been supplied, there are no objectors, and the application was sent in at the proper time and in proper order.

"Although the whole of these applications are supposed to be dealt with in the same manner, I find that I have received different treatment in other areas. I must state at this point that I consider your attitude to be very unjust and entirely contrary to the spirit of the Road Traffic Act as it should be carried out.

"If My application is dismissed on the grounds stated, I shall, at a convenient time, press the matter further."

[We suggest that you should write direct to the Ministry of Transport, 'addressing your letter to the Secretary, Ministry of Transport, 7, Whitehall Gardens, London, S.W.1, informing him of the refusal of the Commissioners to consider your application, and asking on what grounds the Commissioners are entitled to act in that manner. if you do not receive a satisfactory reply you might take the matter up with your local Member of Parliament, as, apart from our view that the Commissioners have no power to require applicants for backing of licences to attend before them, the attitude of the Yorkshire Commissioners appears to us to be entirely unreasonab1e.—En.3

Ventilating Forward-control Cabs.


[3616] Sir,—I have had in mind for a long time now an idea for the ventilation of the cab of a forwardcontrol vehicle, although I have never driven a vehicle of that type.

The scheme is to have a ventilator in the roof of the cab ; below this would be a false roof with about 1-in, clearance and open only at the sides. An electric or mechanically driven fan would be fitted under the driver's seat, where it would be enclosed in a box with openings at the sides, so that the driver would not feel any draught. The air would be drawn through the ventilator and out through the floor, and the fan could be run or stopped to meet the driver's wishes.


Depreciation on Commercial Vehicles.


[3617] Sir,—WouRI you please send me the Tables of Operating Costs which are offered by your journal.

With regard to the question of depreciation, do you consider that this is greater on a commercial than on a private vehicle? Personally, I think it is, due to the greater mileage run by a commercial vehicle.

Newcastle-on-Tyne. INSURANCE ENGINEER. [As requested, we have sent to you a copy of our Tables of Operating Costs.

With regard to depreciation, this depends to a great extent upon the mileage. We think that the useful life of a commercial vehicle can be considered as 150,000 miles. and depreciation naturally depends upon the period covering this mileage. We do not think that a private car could be considered as in any way suitable for doing such a mileage as this. Therefore, in fact, the depreciation on a commercial vehicle should be considerably less, based on mileage, not time. The official depreciation for income tax purposes is five years in connection with a commercial vehicle, but, in costing, many firms now take the life to be seven years. This, of course, does not apply to coaches, which put .up mileages of as much as 100,000 in a year.— ED.]

Transporting Milk by Tractor-trailer.


13618] Sir,—With reference to the inquiry from "Milk Transport," which appeared in your journal some time ago, I cannot reconcile the type of vehicle with the figures given, the inquirer debiting 10s. a week for the licence. This is the amount paid for an ordinary tractor hauling a separate trailer, the speed limit for which, on pneumatic tyres, is 8 m.p.h., which, giving an average of 6 m.p.h. on a journey of 180 miles a day, would mean a running time of 30 hours.

On the other hand, if the operator be using a vehicle with the trailer superimposed, the limit in this case would be 16 m.p.h., but the licence for such a vehicle would be over £1 a week, and, roughly speaking, 15 hours running time would be required.

The figures allow for two drivers and only one mate, and, therefore, I do not see how it is proposed to employ the staff to cover the hours required.

London, W.13. F. H. POLKAED.

[In dealing with the inquiry from "Milk Transport" I assumed that the operator meant to use a " tractor-trailer " combination of the Beardmore type, which is really a loadcarrying vehicle hauling a trailer. Such a machine would be subject to the tax quoted in the letter and would be legally capable of a speed of 16 m.p.h. Obviously two drivers would be necessary in order to carry out the contract to which reference was made in the letter. It is quite possible that the speed limit would be exceeded occasionally.—S.T.R.]


[3619] Sir,—I am interested in the reply by " S.T.R.," but I still contend that the contributor is underestimating his licensing costs. He states definitely that he intends using a tractor-trailer of 10 tons capacity, and mentions a licence figure of 10s. a wit ek. As I interpret the licensing regulations, for a vehicle to be covered by this amount the unladen weight must not exceed 2 tons, and I do not see how it is possible for a vehicle of this light weight to be capable of a capacity of 10 tons.

Assuming the unladen weight of the vehicle to be 5 tons, which would probably be nearer its capacity as a 10-ton vehicle, the licence would be £48 per annum, plus £6 for the trailer superimposed. As the margin of profit at present allowed is small, the additional licensing costs at this figure would be a serious item. In any case, by studying the licensing regulations at my disposal, I cannot in any way see how such a vehicle can be operated at 10s. a week for the licence.

London, W.13. F. H. FOLKARD.

[I am afraid that you are getting a little beside the point in your questions relating to the contract for milk transport which originated this correspondence. I presumed that the inquirer had vehicles either in use or in prospect concerning which he had ascertained that the tax would be at the rate of 10s. per week. I am afraid that you are wrong in so emphatically stating that it is impossible for a tractor weighing less than two tons unladen to haul 10 tons. The Beardmore, Which hauls 15 tons with the greatest of ease, weighs less than 2i tons, so that I see no reason whatever why a smaller tractor suitably equipped should not quite satisfactorily haul a 10-ton load.—S.T.R.1

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