The Motor Omnibus World.
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L.G.O. Depot Closed.
The North Road garage of the London General Omnibus Company has been closed, so far as its connection with the mechanical side of the company's operations is concerned. The Straker-Squire motorbuses have been transferred to the Cricklewood garage, and the Bussing motorbuses to the Acton garage, together with all the drivers and conductors, but a large number of mechanics and fitters have
been discharged. We are informed that the North Road dep& will in future he used as a coach factory.
Powers for Widues.
The Widnes Town Council, at its October meeting, resolved that the Bill which will be promoted by it in the ensuing session of Parliament should include powers for the working and running of motor omnibuses by the Corporation. The Council has found that the provision of trams would be too expensive, and it intends to adopt a system of motorbuses both inside and outside the Borough, We repeat the warning, which we gave, in respect of Burnley's intended Bill (see our issue of the 3rd ultimo, page 91), that there must be no failure to bring proper evidence in support of the Bill. Parliamentary Committees like to limit the area of running powers.
Mr. Fl. M. Winearls, Assistant Official Receiver, has issued his report in regard to the application for the compulsory winding-up of the Motor Car Emporium, Limited : the winding-up order was issued on the 23rd July last,' on the petition of the London Road Car Company, Limited, which was presented on the 4th of that month (these stages of the proceedings having been duly reported by us at the time). The unsecured creditors (38) rank for 1:6,596, preferential creditors for .4.30, and debenture holders for £13,500. The assets are estimated to produce. 4:5,309, and they thus fail to meet the claims of the debenture holders by no less than ,4:8,191. It appears that 3,025 ordinary shares of Lu have been issued, and that the total deficiency is -/_;17,842. This deficiency appears to be largely due to numerous company-promoting undertakings, in connection with the Rapid Road Transit Company, Limited, and the Reliance Motor Transit Company, Limited, whilst there was a small profit in respect of the promotion of the London Electrobus Company, Limited. Briefly, a gross profit of £50,286, in respect of the carrying-on of the company's business from the 1st January, 1906, to the 23rd July, 1907, is more than counter-balanced by the bad debts in which the company has become in volved for these foregoing and othet promotions. The directors of the corn. pany, subject to the settling of th( winding-up Proceedings, have no agreed to obtain the withdrawal of cer. tam n claims, and to provide a sum o: ,-3,000, with which to pay the costs o' the liquidation, and a dividend to th< unsecured creditors.
It seems that, if the liquidation con. tinues, the Postmaster-General wit have a preferential claim for damages estimated at ,'1,833, in respect of z contract for the carriage of mails, be tween London and Hitchin, until th< end of the year 1909, and the Assistan Official Receiver, with the concurrence of the Committee of Inspection, is no prepared to consent to an applicatior by the debenture holders (Doctor Leh wess, Mrs. Lehwess, and Mr. Frentzel) on the terms mentioned, when the claim of the Postmaster-General ha! been satisfied, and the amount o L-3,000 has been received. It is dis. closed in the report that, of a sum o .;.,.,14,o4o which has been paid out t) way of deposit to Continental manufac turers, and which is shown in the state moot of affairs as a loss, Dr. Lehwes: has since been able to arrange tha ..,:610,649 shall not be sacrificed, pro vided the business is continued.
Stafford Considers Motorbuses. A luncheon was recently given, at te Alexandra Hotel,. Stafford, by the rectors of the Ryknield Motor Cornmy, and proposals for the establishent of a motorbus service between at county town and various neighairing places were discussed.
Some residents in the district have rected attention to the fact that there tould be a resumption of motorbus .affic over the Warwick Avenue ridge, in order that travellers from Zest Kilburn to Paddington Station, id other points south or west of that rminus, should have greater facilities.
A Doubtful Result.
A public meetingof residents in the eighbourhood of IIerne Hill was held a the 3oth ultimo, in order to protest 4-ainst the service of the Vanguard Iotorbus Company in certain residenal districts. The resolution of protest, t a meeting in which the hostile dietent had evidently been collected and 'hipped up, was carried only by 23 jteS to 14, which at least points to a msiderable division of opinion.
A peculiar point of law was raised, in le King's Bench Division, on Saturay last, before Mr. Justice Darling, 'hen the foreman of the jury asked 'hether damages could be given gainst the co-defendants, the 'London leneral Omnibus and the Vanguard Iotorbus Companies, in the ratio of vo to one, in respect of an intended ward for personal injuries to a boy arned Longuet. Mr. Justice Darling, fter conferring with other of the udges, gave the decision that no such roportional division of the damages p,uld be made, unless the evidence pecifically went to show that the repective companies were liable in correponding degrees, which was not the ase. The jury accordingly returned a erdict for ,,75o against the two deenda. nt companies. Seating.
The accompanying illustration shows the arrangement of the internal seating of a single-deck bus of Well-known Continen tal manufacture. Our Berlin correspondent believes this will be the fore runner of many similar ones, as the old style of facingseats are becoming increasingly unpopular. Other particulars are given in our issue of the 22nd August.
A Neat Tire Catalogue.
The Peter Union Tyre Company, of 6, Upper St. Martin's Lane, W.C., has issued a succinct, illustrated camlogue of its various tires, bath pneumatic and solid. The sectional and other views of the omnibus and heavy lorry tires are well executed, and the company gives a selection of the testimonials which it holds from customers.
Suggestions are being made that damage to electric-light standards might be avoided if the arc-lamps were suspended from transverse vvires, these wires being secured to suitable " rosettes " placed on opposite walls. This system of lighting without posts. is not novel, as it has been tried in various provincial cities. One difficulty which has hitherto been experienced has arisen in connection with the movement of fire-escapes, although, with modern plant, in which the ladders are extended by compressed gas, on arrival at the scene of the tire, this objection may no longer hold good.
Comfort and Convenience.
We referred, in our Editorial columns of the loth ultimo, to the " halfhearted " action of the Metropolitan Steam Omnibus Company, Limited, in respect of the reduction in seating capacity, from 34 to 30, which has been adopted upon its Darracq-Serpollet vehicles. We consider that, qua reduction of weight, this change from the ordinary design of the London motor bus is half-hearted and insignificant, but it is only fair to the manufacturers of the vehicles, and to their present proprietors, that we should remind our readers that the primary object of the change was to secure the greater comfort and convenience of the passengers. The company has not eliminated four seats as part of a C move " in the direction of a smaller unit.
" The Western Morning News," in quoting from our references to the arguments for and against rubber-covered streets, says : " The idea of a silent traffic upon rubber seems too much like a dream to appeal to distracted and despairing humanity, which would imagine itself in a city of the dead, a city of phantoms, if the drum of the ear were not banged and splashed by the wave-sounds made by the thunder and roar of the rolling carts and rush ing trams. . . Who has hitherto thought of a busy, moving, throbbing city becoming as silent as a deserted vTage? "
Capitalists have purchased the plant and rolling stock of the LilientalBorgfeld-Horn motorbus line which was recently discontinued, and have reopened communication. They also hope to open other lines in the district, which lies in the neighbourhood of Bremen. At Carding (Holstein), Mayor Flickenschild is the moving spirit of a proposal It run a line of motorbuses between that town and the seaside resort of St. Peter. A committee of three are at work on an estimate of costs and receipts, and will submit it to a special meeting of interested parties.
Undue Noise in Berlin.
Berlin citizens—some of them—have petitioned the President of Police and the Oberbtirgermeister against the
rattling, clattering, squealing and hooting noises " of the motorbuses worked by the Berliner Allgemeine Omnibus-Gesellschaft. The petitioners denounce these vehicles as disturbing public peace and jeopardising public safety. A number of citizens, it is said, are suffering from nervous disorders occasioned by the aforementioned noises. Seeing that Berlin possesses but three Or four motorbus lines, and that their noise is absolutely insignificant compared with the thunder and clangour of the hundred and one lines of electric tramcars, the petitioners seem to have been actuated by prejudice more than anything else. What with devastating fires, rickety bridges, popular prejudice, and fares out of proportion to the costs of working, the prospects of Berlin's motorbus traffic are not particularly bright.
Says our contemporary The Globe : " Omnibuses in the streets we must have, and inventors should see that we have what we need."
Our fortnightly census (page 225) shows that Birch Brothers, Limited, has, for the time being, withdrawn 14 of its motorbuses : the majority were on the Finchley-Oxford Circus route.
The fuels report of the Motor Union has now been issued from the Press, and copies may be obtained from Mr. W. Rees Jeffreys, 13 Albemarle Street, W., price is. each.
It appears that the insitution of penny stages on the Central London Railway, the old twopenny tube, which were forecasted in our issue of 15th August, page 565, is likely to come into effect, unless the threat of the omnibus companies to extend the length of their penny stages along the whole line of the tube leads to the abanclonnutnt of the contemplated change. As pointed out by us last week (page 201 ante), the difficulty of adjusting this particular matter is the only " rift within the lute " in connection with the fare conference. The Central London Railway
Company may very properly adopt id. stages, but it can never attract many short-stage travellers from the surface.