London-Coventry Motorway Would Save £15,000 a Mile
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g AST November Mr. R. Gresham I—•Cooke, M.A., director of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, read a paper entitled The Economics of Motorways" before the Institution of Highway Engineers. It was then suggested that evidence should be produced to show that the construction of these roads will be of financial benefit to the country by lowering transport costs.
Subiequently, a joint committee comprised of representatives of the British Road Federation, the Institution of Highway Engineers and the S.M.M.T. was formed with this object, and its report was issued last Monday. It had been presented to the Minister of Transport on October 18.
Lower Cost to Industry
Only the operation of goods vehicles was studied, but the committee points out that other classes of vehicle user would also benefit greatly. It was felt, however, that the case for motorways should be based on a reduction in transport costs directly incurred by industry.
Although the committee had the results of a Ministry of Transport census taken in March, 1948, on A.5 and A.45 between St. Albans and Coventry, this, whilst giving details of the flow of traffic at different times of the day and night, was not divided into vehicle categories. Therefore, a special census of traffic was carried out by members of the committee at the official census point approximately eight miles north-west of Dunstable.
The following totals are for 24 hours from 8 p.m. on June 30 last:—Heavy goods vehicles, 2,288; light goods vehicles, 1,458; motorcars, 1,102; motor coaches, 96; buses, 2; other vehicles, 62. The proportion of this traffic which would use the proposed motorway was estimated to be 90 per cent. of the heavy vehicles and 60 per cent. of thes light goods models, although this is conservative, as markings indicated that many were travelling at least between London and the Midlands.
Savings for Four Types Working on figures given in Appendix I of the report, it was calculated that the reductions in vehicle Operating costs on motorways are 1.06d. per mile for a 3-tonner, 1.11d. for a 5-tonner, 3.98d. for a 10-tonner and 4.25d. for a 13-tormer. The average maximum reductions in the two classes are taken as representing those of all the light and heavy vehicles recorded, i.e., 1.085d. and 4.115d. per mile, respectively.
From these figures were determined the net gains in terms of reduced transport costs per mile of motorway per year. Assuming a five-day week and a 51-week year, the cost per mile of running 875 light goods vehicles (60 per cent, of those using the observed stretch) would be lowered by i1,009, and that of 2,059 heavy goods vehicles by L9,002—a total of £10,011. This total represents the financial benefit accruing to the national economy from commercial traffic between London and Coventry. To this figure must be added that in respect of other traffic which would also use the motorway_ The committee considers that this additional traffic could be conservatively estimated at 50 per cent. of the London-Coventry volume. The total gain would therefore be at least £15,016 per mile, and it is estimated that if a motorway were in existence as an alternative to this particular route, a minimum return of 58 per cent, on the expenditure would result through reduced transport costs of commercial vehicles alone.
More specifically, operating costs of motorways, compared with those on existing all-purpose roads, would be reduced by 32.4 per cent, for a 10-tonner and 17.4 per cent. for a 3-tanner.
HAULIERS RUN RAIL FEEDER SERVICES
BECAUSE the pool operated early this year by the Penzance Sub-area of the Road Haulage Association for the carriage of potatoes to railway stations was so successful, arrangements have been made for hauliers to take over other important agricultural traffic in Cornwall.
Last year the broccoli crop in West Cornwall amounted to approximately 40,000 tons, of which 4,000 tons were carried in the railway's own road vehicles. This year the railway vehicles will not be used, but a complete feeder service will be provided by the R.H.A. through the medium of contact officers appointed by the Penzance and West Cornwall Sub-areas.
The same organization is being used for the delivery to farms of seed potatoes. It is hoped to extend the arrangements to other traffics.
100 YEARS OF BOOKSTALLS UR. BARNES, Minister of Transport, 11'1 was among the guests of W. H. Smith and Sons, Ltd., at a dinner held onMonday, when the company officially celebrated the centenary of the signing of the first bookstall contract. Other guests were the chairmen and members of the British Transport Commission, Railway Executive, London Transport Executive. and the chairman of the Road Transport Executive.
ELECTRIC DIPSTICK HEATS OIL
APAPER by Mr. Alexander Peet on his electric dipstick was read at a recent meeting in Edinburgh of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts. Whilst the device fulfils the usual purpose of indicating the oil level, it also enables the oil to be heated to a temperatee of 60-65 degrees F.
The heating element in the dipstick is run from the vehicle battery, but it may be connected to the mains.
"EXECUTIVES WILL BE AT EACH OTHER'S THROATS" IN the next three years the road and rail Executives would be at each other's throats, said Mr. E. A. Whitehead, secretary of the North Western (Western) Area of the Road ' Haulage Association, at the R.H.A. Cheshire Sub-area's dinner at Chester, last week. Stressing the importance of co-operation between hauliers, Mr. Whitehead suggested that after the appointed day, when the 25-mile limit was imposed, operators who had regular traffic for, say, 40 miles should establish a friendly arrangement with hauliers in the adjoining -district to 'Stake over " the load.
Mr. J. Edward Jones thought that, before long, there would be serious developments in road haulage, and he advised hauliers to do their utmost to prevent newcomers from entering the industry.
Mr. Tom Lawrenson, chairman of the North Wes,tern (Western) Area, gave a warning that, with the imposition of the 25-mile radius, the work of subareas would become even more important.
Mr. Stephen Peers, chairman of the Cheshire Sub-area. who presided, urged unity among hauliers throughout the country, and deplored the fact that only 21,000 of the 85,000 hauliers in the United Kingdom were in the R.H.A.
RAILWAY VIEW ON TRANSPORT CO-ORDINATION
AA T the 29th anniversary luncheon of the Institute of Transport, with the president, Mr. David R. Lamb, in the chair, Sir Eustace Missenden, 0.B.E., chairman of the Railway Executive, gave an address on the work and progress of the Railway Exqcutive. He emphasized that the views he gave were his own.
The task of the new transport organization was to provide cheaper and better transport without imposing a burden on the taxpayer, and this, with a happy and contented staff.
It would be a grave mistake to think that increased efficiency could come from drastic interference with the habits of life and thought of so many people.
There were several ways in which transport co-ordination, particularly between road and rail, could be gradually achieved. Branch lines and many intermediate stations throughout the country must be closed down, and road transport for passengers and freight used as feeders to the nearest railheads, which would be served by bus and frequent trains.
Apart from rates and fares— important factors in influencing traffic to one means for transport or another —there was a wider issue; that was whether long-distance .coaching would continue to expand. The rate of increase had been very rapid during the past year. By consuming petrol, met by overseas payments, on these services, the financial position of the railways had been adversely affected. Increasing traffic on th: roads would also necessitate capital expenditure in providing new highways, whilst the iron road was not being fully utilized. TRAMS DISAPPEARING FROM NORTH-EAST COAST I T is expected that the change-over from trams to trolleybuses or motorbuses at Newcastle upon Tyne will be completed early next year. The latest route to be converted is in the Benton area.
About the middle of this month the Heaton Road trams will be replaced by trolleybuses and early in 1949 the Scotswood Road trams will also disappear. Afterwards, the only trams running in the city will be those operating from Gateshead to the Central Station and the Hancock Museum.
South Shields Corporation's trams were abandoned about 18 months ago. When Newcastle's trams have been replaced, the only other north-east towns having trams will be Gateshead and Sunderland. In both these places, however, they are scheduled for replacement.
BACK TO THE GOOD OLD DAYS!
LAST week Oldham and Son, Ltd., -1—drevived a practice adopted since the 1920s, but interrupted by the war, of holding a luncheon for its servicestation agents during the period of the Motor Show. At present, the company has a network of 407 service stations throughout the British Isles, and many of their proprietors were present at last week's function. It was organized by Mr. S. J. Wrigglesworth, director and general manager, who presided.
Other directors present were Mr. Edward C. Oldham and Col. Stanley Bell, ORE., J.P. Mr. Wrigglesworth said that Nirr. John Oldham was in the .U.S.A. and Mr. Geo.ge Oldham was otherwise they also would have been present.
NEW RESEARCH STATION
LAST week Sir Geoffrey Heyworth. La chairman of the Advisory Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, opened the new workshops of the Production Engineering Research Association of Great Britain at Staveley Lodge, Melton Mowbray. The Association was formed on its present basis .two years ago.
Sir Geoffrey said that the work of P.E.R.A. had a direct bearing on craftsmanship.