Index | Homepage | Good Links | Bad Links


Consumerism | Railways | Fares Fair | NCL | GM | JD Rockefeller

The oil industry and destruction of public transport

Tearing up the Tracks

Public transport pulled apart to make way for death, pollution, stress..... and profit.

1. UK Railway abandonment
-------------------Have your say!

2. UK Tram abandonment


Steam Train In A Station

The deliberate dismantling of public transport in Britain

This is the fruit of some occasional research. For all its obscenity the road-building plan in the UK still relies heavily on car travel being cheaper and more efficient than public transport.

The streetcars were successfully shut down in the U.S.A. by the roads lobby. Why not here in the U.K.?

How come then, it's more expensive to travel in a multi-occupancy vehicle being used 18 hours a day than it is to use a 1 to 4 person vehicle (a car) that stays idle 95% of the time? Answer, subsidies. The government subsidies that favour the car are directly opposed to social and environmental concerns. Rail travel is also much safer, so why subsidise the dangerous option?

In addition there is clear evidence provided by Ken Livingstone's Fares Fair experiment, in the 1980's, that public transport tickets are deliberately overpriced in the UK. What is going on! Who is pulling the strings?

1. Railways

The first place to look is the reports that led to Dr. Beechings railway destruction plan, known at the time as the 'Re-shaping Plan'. This plan was an essential 'justification' for Britain's motorway building programme begun in the early sixties.

Did Beeching himself write it? Not exactly. It was prepared by a ministry of Transport advisory group of industrialists, including Beeching, called the Stedeford Committee [see below] who were appointed by Tory transport minister Ernest Marples. Marples was a director of Marples Ridgway, the road building company that built the Chiswick flyover - and much more. The brief of the Stedeford committee was secret as was the report to the minister. Immediately suspicious. Not one of the Stedeford members had been significantly involved with transport before, all four non civil-servants were industrialists¹. Dr. Beeching was straight from the board of I.C.I.. The committee begins to look like a fix by the industrial elite.

I have heard and read how the government, through the Department of Transport, pay the vast sums needed for road infrastructure. So, one might expect, in the interests of a competive transport market, they would pay for rail infrastructure too. But government insists rail infrastructure is paid for by the rail fares, hardly a level playing field! When the railways stop returning a profit, the fact that the transport market is regulated in favour of the car is ignored and there is deep indignation that railways are not returning a profit. The massive overuse of oil that cars bring must be making someone, somewhere, an obscene amount of money. I begin to smell a honking great rat!

Let's not forget another very good political reason for interfering in the 'free market' in transport, the powerful rail unions ASLEF and the NUR. Once these unions had the power to bring British industry to its knees, just as they did between 30th May and 14th June 1955. This strike occured immediately before the changeover from public to private transport. Don't forget, you can't unionise a car, the railway abandonment served to break  transport union power once and for all.

With a combination of infiltration (cf. the now famous infiltration of the National Union of Mineworkers by MI5) and economic/political union busting campaigns such as happened on the railways Socialism in the UK has been brought to its knees. And many Socialist ideals have been shattered.


1955 ASLEF strike

Lasted from 29th May to 14th June 1955. Pay differentials strike over the price of a packet of cigarettes per week, called just days after Eden's Conservative victory at a General Election. Brought British industry to a standstill after two weeks and forced a government climbdown. British Transport Commission settled pay claim.

After this UK government transport policy switched to roads.


Have your say!

..by sending an email with the subject "Have Your Say" to me at tony@gaia.org

"Transport Minister Ernest Marples"

Bob Griffin

Tory transport minister Ernest Marples (later 'Sir') was not just a government minister, he also owned a construction company, Marples-Ridgeway. Marples-Ridgeway's main concern was - wait for it - constructing roads. They contributed to several motorway projects during the fifties and sixties and also constructed the Hammersmith flyover in London. When it was pointed out that being transport minister as well as a road builder might be construed as a conflict of interest he (grudgingly?) agreed, and divested himself of his shares in Marples-Ridgeway - to his wife! Sleaze anyone...?

The way forward has to be the re-opening of most of the railways closed under Beeching, along with the reinstatement of the locally based distribution network. Telling the ill-informed self-interested short-termist hauliers that they could still get work driving trucks after this happens may appease them. Chucking people off former railway land to re-open has to be cheaper - both financially and in terms of the environment - than building another inch of road, yet we have to find some way to pay for it. Ultimately, this has to start with (considerable political will and) further taxes on cars and fuel. Who's first?

Thanks to Bob Griffin - for this contribution

griffinb@cwcom.net

6th April 99

"The densest network in the world"

John Price

Marples was a director of Marples Ridgway a road building co. that built the Chiswick flyover.

Because of the advent of cheap motor cars(The Mini) a social revolution took place that many people choose to ignore when debating this subject. What ever happened to the British Motorcyce industry, the mini ruined it not the Japanese?They did help of course.

Macmillan and co saw the railway as a victorian antiquity, a form of transport left over from a time gone by. The attitude towards the railway at that time was remarkably different from today, it is wrong to look at the railway then with the eyes of today. Today the railway is seen as the way forward in reducing grid lock on the roads. Then the railway was a leftover with quaint steam transport, unprofitable and uneconomical. Even the rail unions didnt fight the Beeching cuts.

England and Wales had been over railwayised from the start and still today it has the densest network in the world. Railway mania saw railways built that never made a penny from conception to closure. Note that of all the railways that were taken over by preservation schemes after closure, not one of them has operated a succesful public transport service, they only exist for novelty entertainment and nostalgia.

From the social point of view many many of the Beeching closures were wrong. Again social values were different in those days. remember we are talking of the days when a union could bring the country to a standstill. People equality and rights were also different in those days.

I believe the major mistake of the Beeching plan was that it allowed removal of the infrastructure. It is interesting to note that were BR did re-establish services it was only on lines were the infrastructure was intact.

There is nothing to stop railways being built again.

Public transport will never entirely replace the private car and what a god forsaken world it would be if it did.

What is needed is good goverment management of private transport.

Even if it was free there is never going to be a mass move towards public transport. [I question that!! ed.]

Rail privatisation is the best step ever towards making the railways succesful and encouraging investment but you are only going to see that on long distance peak lines and dense commuter networks. Money talks and we live in a world dictated by MONEY thats why railways were built in this country in the first place.

In case you are wondering I am a life long railway enthusiast and REALIST.

Regards JP

please note return email address captjonprice@email.com

15th November 1999

"Transport justice"

Dear Transport Minister Ernest Marples,

Transport solutions in the UK have reached an cancerous unsolvable situation. The only way to resolve this situation is to dismantle the structure of obstruction piece by piece every area that stops people from using public transport. The balance of progress is measured only by positive change. It is time to grow up and stop playing with the citizens of the Great Britain.

Yours, angry and ashamed of British government,

Maurice A Willmott <maurice2000@maurice2000.screaming.net>

Tue, 21 Dec 1999


"The Railways must be made to pay for themselves"

For a variety of reasons in the mid-fifties British Railways started failing to return a profit. Managers constantly complained to the government about their lack of freedom to set rates so the railways were helping pay for post-war recovery. Between 1948 and 1955 wholesale prices rose by 50% and retail prices by 34% but rail fares were forced to remain constant. Most independent observers consider this to be the single most important factor producing the defecit the railways were 're-shaped' to deal with. Both passenger and goods rates were fixed by the government in the form of the Ministry of Transport, The Railway Rates Tribunal and The Transport Tribunal¹.

The defecit was as follows²:

Table 1, Railway profitability.

YEAR(S) RAILWAY PROFITABILITY
up to 1952 In profit
1953 Profit equalled loan interest
1954 Profit less than loan interest
1955 Break even
1956 on In defecit
1960 Defecit of £67.7 million
1961 Defecit of £86.9 million

Stedeford Committee (Special Advisory Group) members

Chairman, Sir Ivan Stedeford [Tube Investments]

Dr R. Beeching [I.C.I.]

C. F. Keaton [JMD, Courtaulds]

H. Benson [Cooper Bros.]

D. R. Serpell [Dept of Transport]

M. Stevenson [Treasury]

Their report was made public in 1991¹. One of the many criticisms of the former British Transport Commission regime was that, of their 15 members of the BTC board, only 2 were railwaymen.

Dr BeechingBeeching's Bombshell, announced March 25 1963.

Staff

In 1961, before Beeching's 'Re-Shaping', British Rail employed a staff of 474,538.

Passenger stations closed

I have found no summary detailing the extent of rail closures in the Beeching era. But a trawl of the 1963 Reshaping Plan² reveals the extent of station closures on the British mainland in the early sixties. A total of 2361 stations were closed, out of a total in 1961 of around 7,000, that's about 1/3 closed down.

The 'modernisation plan' was the British Transport Commission (British Rail's predecessor)'s response to the 'defecit' that railways were running.

Table 2: Number of railway passenger stations closed in the early sixties

Modernisation Plan Reshaping Plan (Beeching) Total
England 244 1306 1550
Scotland 19 432 451
Wales 170 190 360
Total 433 1928 2361

Goods traffic, 'The unit of freight movement is the train²'

[Chapter title from Allen's book³] The effect of Beeching's reshaping of the rail goods network was devastating. Before, with nearly 5,000 depots from and to which goods could be sent, the Royal Mail or the Railways covered the vast majority of the country. In practice the larger goods users, the coal shippers, cement and iron companies and, of course, the oil industry subsidised the system to bring down the handling costs of small shipments. This particular policy change meant almost all freight was forced onto the roads.

In April 1961 there were 4,995 goods depots in the UK handling 4.4 million tons a week. The total number of ton miles transported by British Railways in 1961 was 17,590 million

Track torn up

Table 3: The state of the rail network, track route miles in 1961²

Freight only track miles Mixed traffic (pass. & freight) miles
4+ tracks 100 1,500
3 tracks 100 400
Twin track 1,200 10,000
Single track 2,700 5,900
Total 4,100 17,800

Cost:

Maintenance of the above 17,800 route mile network, including signalling, cost £110 million/year in 1961².

The re-shaping plan closed 5,000 route miles of the above network³.

Was Ernest Marples in the pay of Industry?

Barbara Castle was the next Labour transport minister.  She found she could not change the direction her predecessor had taken the railways in.

So what now?

Let's think laterally... what about... 'the other end of the tunnel'? Who would be most likely to benefit from a fix-up of national transport policy? The big rail users maybe? So that the network could be 're-shaped' to bring down their costs and stop the subsidy that was going from the bulk rail users to small customers. Then there was the oil companies, they would be eager to see consumption of petrol go through the roof with a greater reliance on the car.

The legacy is not forgotten in the corridors of power.  Dr. John Marek, MP for Wrexham, spoke out in the House of Commons in 1996 against Beeching!

1938, Square Deal Denied - by Ted Gibbins§

A timely warning of Government attitudes to privately owned railways. Drawn from Public Records & elsewhere, catalogues the long fruitless search by railways for equal treatment under the law with much favoured hauliers.

Sets out many new facts on the subject, hitherto, reported only briefly, and due to the relevant Government papers being kept secret for 50 years, often inaccurately.

Government favoured hauliers from 1912, and, contrary to popular belief, never intended to give equality to railways. Government actually subsidised the infant road transport industry. Even worse, Railways, as ratepayers, were also subsidising road transport, but denied the use of those same roads to carry goods by motor vehicle.

To avoid giving equal treatment under the law to rail and road transport, the pre-war Tory Government claimed to prefer co-ordination of transport to competition, but took no action to achieve that end. In consequence, from 1921, railways progressively lost freight traffic to road transport.

When a Tory Government regained power in 1951, they dismantled the co-ordinated concept created by a post-war Labour Government and reverted precisely to the pre-war "Unsquare Deal". During the war, Government skimmed 1 billion from privately owned railways, whilst road hauliers were virtually uncontrolled.

For 60 years, three myths have held sway in respect of the pre-war railways call for a "Square Deal" - equality with other transport.

The first is that the campaign for equality began in 1938. It began in 1921, when railways sought legal powers to operate road haulage. Their competitors needed no legal power to set up in road haulage, and for many years, paid little or nothing towards road construction and maintenance. Road haulage was subsidised by ratepayers in general, and railways in particular. Railways were denied road powers until 1928, and even then, had limited rights and stringent obligations. Railways then called for hauliers to be subject to the same statutory regulations as themselves - no more, no less. This was followed by three ineffective Government inquiries, spread over seven years, which kicked this reasonable request into touch. As Government would not regulate road haulage on equal terms, Railways asked for the only alternative - the same commercial freedom as road haulage. At this stage, Railways gave their 18 year long search for equality, an eye catching title - "The Square Deal Campaign".

Old Goodsyard - Horse drawn transport

The second myth is that railways sought equality only with road haulage, but they were also concerned about the privileged, protected and subsidised position of coastwise shipping, which was allowed by Statute to object to competing rail charges, whilst railways had no similar rights with regard to shipping or road haulage. Rail charges from ports were designed by the government's scheme to protect coastwise shipping.

The third myth, fostered by politicians and others is that the "Square Deal" was about to be conceded when war broke out, and was thereby thwarted. Nothing is further from the truth. Government papers unearthed by Ted Gibbins reveal that Government interfered with, and delayed the findings of the 1938/39 Inquiry, and prove that they never had the slightest intention of conceding equality. To have done so, would have led to Government subsidising inefficient uncompetitive industry, which would not invest in modern methods, but depended on an archaic rail charges system, enforced on railways by Government, and specifically designed to provide heavy industry with uneconomic rates subsidised by profits from classes of traffic, which road haulage were discriminatively "creaming-off". The "Unsquare Deal" was endured by British Rail for over 30 years.

This book demolishes another myth - that railways were glad to accept a low fixed Rental from their own revenue for sequestration during the 1939-45 War. Government and Railway papers show this to be completely untrue. The Companies had no fears about wartime viability, but succumbed to thinly veiled threats of nationalisation. The media criticised Government's inequitable wartime railway policies. Some Ministers warned of bankruptcy. But Government went ahead - happy to continue to ruin railways, whilst ineffective pseudo control of road haulage enabled them to prosper. No other industry was so thoroughly skimmed. It was a natural progression of the "Square Deal Denied".

Square Deal Denied, by Ted Gibbins, M.C.I.T., ISBN 0 9521039 3 1
Price £11.95, From booksellers or may be obtained at the same price inclusive of postage, from the publishers:
Leisure Products, 11 Bedford Grove, Alsager, Stoke-on-Trent ST7 2SR, England. Telephone 01270 873208

Blueprints for Bancruptcy

Blueprints for Bancruptcy - Ted Gibbins

Pre-war policies were forcing railways into bankruptcy. Government's wartime policies ensured the insolvency of railways. Worse still, this had been forecast by senior Ministers and civil servants in 1940.

B.R. began life with 1941 prices and 1948 costs, unlike all other industry. Whilst B.R. was unable to obtain the limited raw materials authorised in Government's Economic Plans, road transport - year after year, was allowed to exceed the limits which they had been given. Hence, they soon had a modern post-war fleet, whilst B.R. had to lumber on with war worn vintage rolling stock.

B.R. was actually directed not to overtake wartime arrears of track renewal, so that they were not finally cleared until nine years after the war ended! On top of this, Whitehall theorists & politicians implemented post-war laws & policies which bankrupted B.R., and would have bankrupted any industry. A court of law decided rail charges, delaying increases for over 12 years ! The so called "subsidy" began as an interest bearing loan to "compensate" for prices being held, by Government and their appointees, up to 41 points below the inflation rate, whilst BR's suppliers were uninhibited in their price increases.

No other industry - not even other nationalised industries - had their prices controlled by a court of law. In recent years, Ministers criticised B. R. for not making profits when their own legislation specifically directed that they were not to be profitable!

Government policies ensured B.R. would be loss making to keep fares below the inflation rate so as to please the electorate, and would lose freight to road through an archaic Government designed rates system.

Reviews - Chartered Institute of Transport: "Does not deserve to be neglected";
Railway & Canal Historical Society; "A new aspect of railway history".

Paperback UK price £11.95 each incl. P&P from Publishers : Leisure Products, 11 Bedford Grove, Alsager, Stoke on Trent ST7 2SR or from booksellers.

Railway references:

§Gibbins, E.A., Square Deal Denied, Leisure Products, 1998, ISBN 0 9521039 3 1 Price £11.95, from Leisure Products 11 Bedford Grove, Alsager, Stoke-on-Trent ST7 2SR, England. Telephone 01270 873208

¹Gibbins, E. A., Blueprints for Bankruptcy, Leisure Publications, 1995. ISBN 0 9521039 2 3 Available from Leisure Products, 11 Bedford Grove, Alsager, Stoke-on-Trent ST7 2SR, England. Telephone 01270 873208

²B.R. Board, The Reshaping of British Railways, HMSO, 1963

³Allen, G Freeman, British Rail After Beeching, Ian Allen, 1966

additional:

Burroughs, R. E., The great Isle of Wight train robbery: the story of Wight railway closures, Railway Invigoration Society, 1968. [tells the story of falsified figures used to close railways in the Isle of Wight]

Hardy, R. H. N. (Richard Harry Norman), "Beeching : champion of the railway?", Ian Allan, 1989 ISBN 0711018553

Film:
Reshaping British Railways 63-mins - FA332 - £19.95
In 1963 Dr. Beeching's plan for Britain's railways was published. This video contains the film version of his plan & the first 2 Reports on Modernisation of BR published in 1959 & 1961, just prior to the appointment of Dr. Beeching as Chairman of BR in 1962.

Available from:
PO Box 362, Olney, Bucks, MK46 5EY, England, UK.
Tel: +44(0)1234-711615 Fax: +44(0)1234-240976
Email: wolvrail@amicro.co.uk


2. Trams

The Royal Commission on Transport that reported in 1931 recomended that trams be phased out as soon as possible since they 'cause conjestion'. This was the death-knell for the tram. The twin crimes of being the mode of transport of working people and consuming almost no oil at all meant it had to go.

The recommendations of the Royal Commission on Transport, 1931¹

In the late 1920's and early 1930's the Royal Commission on Transport was investigationg a number of major issues of transport policy. Its third report, 'The Co-ordination and Development of Transport', published in 1931 (HMSO, 1931), whilst acknowledging 'the great part played by tramways in the past' (para365) and even some inherent advantages (less noise on well maintained tarck, absence of fumes, smoothness of accelleration and mechanical reliability: para 366), the Commissioners were generally unfafourably disposed towards trams. Among their conclusions and recommendations were:

'We believe [tramways to be superior to any other form of road pasenger vehicle ] at the present moment in London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and other large towns where the volume of passenger traffic at certain hours is very great, but we cannot believe that even in these populous centres the present state of things is likely to be permanent... improvement in motor omnibuses in recent years as regards comfort, capacity, design, reliability and economical running has been so remarkable that we feel certain that the time will soon arrive when the motor omnibus, supplemented by new tube railways, etc. will be able to carry the public, even in London and other big cities, as expeditiously and cheaply as the tramcar.' (para 368)

The commissioners itemised a number of specific disadvantages associated with tramways. These included:

Despite the acknowledged difficulties that would be involved in abolishing tramways and that 'at the present time trams are necessary in certain large towns if the traffic is to be carried with any degree of expedition' (para 373), the commissioners considered view was that tramways 'if not an obsolete form of transport, are at all events in a state of obsolescence, and cause much unnecessary congestion and considerable dager to the public.' They therefore recommended:

(a) that no additional tramways should be constructed, and

(b) that, though no definite time limit can be laid down, they should gradually disappear and give place to other forms of transport (para 372)

The predictions of the Royal Commission were to some extent self-fulfilling, not least because they echoed popular opinion at the time. So far as London is concerned, the last new section of line opened at Westhorne Avenue, Eltham, in 1932; and the network was gradually closed between 1931 and 1952, being replaced by a mixture of trolleybuses and motor buses (Joyce, 1987).

¹All this section is from

Higginson, Martin; Tramway London: background to the abandonment of London's trams 1931-1952; Pub.: Light Rail Transit Association in association with Birkbeck College with assistance from London Transport Museum;1993; ISBN: 0948106166

Notes from the commission reports in the public records office, Kew

Supplied by Ted Gibbins - many thanks Ted

Royal Commission appointed Aug. 1928,

Chairman: Sir Arthur Griffith-Boscawen

Members - Members: Marquess of Northampton, Earl of Clarendon, JJ Aston, Sir MG Wallace, Sir EV Hiley, Sir WG Lobjolt, I Salmon, HE Crawford, J Learmouth, F Montague, WR Smith

(3rd Report appears to have more members - Messrs Donald, Galton, Leach)

Remit:-

To consider problems arising from the growth of road transport, and with a view to securing employment of the available means of transport in Great Britain <[>including coastwise shipping & ferries], to greatest public advantage. To co nsider and to report what measures, if any, should be adopted for the better regulation and control, to promote their co-ordinated working and development.

1st Report [Cmd 3365] July 1929 - 54 pages. In addition to a number of private meetings, 30 days were occupied in Public Inquiries. 54 witnesses were heard. The Report refers to the Road Vehicle Regulation Bill to be put before them, but actually referred instead to a Select Committee which rejected it.

Page 3, para 4: Need to revise legislation. Not one in 1000 motorists were observing speed limits. Bus companies have had timetables approved by Local Authorities which were based on speeds in excess of legal limits.

Page 4, para 5: 6127 killed in 1928 by mechanical transport.

Page 5, para 6: Increase in accidents in 1909: 27k; 1928: 148k.

Para 76: Recommendations: [iv] No general speed limit for vehicles with pneumatic tyres. <[>vi] Stiff penalties for dangerous driving. [xi] Driving licences issued on self declaration as to fitness to drive. <[>xxv] 3rd Pty insu rance - essential measure - action needed.

2nd Report Licensing & Regulation of PSV's, Oct. 1929 [Cmd 3416] 51 pp Recommended licensing of PSV's: Traffic Area Commissioners to be established with power to grant or refuse licences. To consider and approve timetabl es and fares. To hold Public Inquiries, if necessary. To fix maximum and minimum fares for their Area. The aim was to establish and adequate passenger service by creating a "controlled monopoly". To issue licences for PSV's, drivers and conductors. PSV o perators to carry insurance.

Final 3rd] Report Cmd 3751, December 1930] published 1931, 240 pages. Numerous private meetings and 44 days of Public Inquiries to take oral evidence from 47 bodies and 5 individuals. Written submissions from 54 others, one on the practice on Indian Railways. p.3, Para 9: Three different questions were involved in the Terms of Reference:- 1. Free and easy movement of traffic on roads and its control from the point of view of safety. 2. Licensing of PSV's. 3. Gene ral co-ordination & development of all means of transport. Items 1 and 2 dealt with in the 1st and 2nd Reports respect.

Page.8, para 24 The first Turnpike Act was passed in the mid 17th Century. Between 1760 and 1774, over 450 Turnpike Acts were passed. Between 1785 and 1809, 1062 Acts were passed. Para 25 Turnpikes never popular, were source of resentment.

Page.9, para 29 A nation of horse lovers and users marked its aversion to use of roads by team carriages by placing every obstacle, notably excessive tolls in way of its development.

Page.10, para 33 In the mid 19th century Parliament embarked on a policy of disturnpiking reverting the liability to parishes. In 1888, the liability was transferred to the [newly formed] County Councils.

Page.12 In 1909, a Roads Board was created with an income which averaged 1m pa for five years. During the war, work was suspended and the money ceased.

Page.16 British rlys suffered as pioneers - due heavy capital expenditure, extremely high prices for land and compensation in respect of depreciation - real or fancied. Opposition in Northampton forced railways to divert from the natural line to o ne which involved construction of the 1.5 mile Kilsby tunnel. This is merely one example of needless expense.

Page.17 Stations often had to be constructed at inconvenient places remote from the centre of towns. The consequences were either capital is unremunerative or higher charges ensue. Excessive wasteful competition fostered by Govt.

Page.18 para 52 During the past 100 years, there have been 200 public Acts dealing with the regulation of railways.

Page.20 para 58 Parliament did not define "Undue Preference", but left the R&CC free to decide in each case.

Page.22 para 65 Locos, RS and sleepers sent overseas, especially to the Western Front [France & Belgium]. Workshops had to produce new special type wagons to carry war materials (e.g., howitzers, tanks, etc), Para 66 Lack adequate materials in war resulted in min attention to maintenance and repairs. By 1919, rlys needed a complete overhaul. Para 67 Permanent way sadly in need of attention, great shortage of locos, RS - most in use was overdue for repairs.

Page.29 Railway "Disabilities":- Control of charges; obligation to carry; undue preference; facilities for HM Forces and workmen at cheap rates; control of wages and conditions of service by National Wages Board set up by Govt , Accounts & returns ; Safety; Passenger Duty [tax]; Maintenance of roads over bridges; Standardisation of equipment [by Government decree].

Page.30 para 100: Rlys called for end Pass Duty. Since evidence given, this has been dealt with by the Finance Act, 1929. Para 101 Called for release from liability for maintenance on bridges. Otherwise, Railways sought that road transport be equal ly regulated.

Page.31, Para 103 ABCC claimed no economies from amalgamation. Stamp said economies are very large and progressive - a fall in prices of purchases worth £20m pa. p.33 Para 112 Standing Committee on Mineral Transport [1st Report - Cmd 3420, 1929] only 3% of wagons are over 20 tons capacity. Drastic reconstruction needed at terminals and sidings estimated to cost £8.75m essential for large extension of use of 20 ton wagons. Recommend no wagons below 20 tons be constructed after 1.1.32 without special authority. p.34 Para 120 The POW system is defective and costly .

Page.45, para 160 Conclusion - Cannot afford to lose railways. The aim should be to harmonise and co-ordinate the newer and older forms of transport with the objective of obtaining from each the maximum of advantage to th e public.

Page 46 Para 162 At start of the century, roads were poor. The emergence of Motor vehicles led to a need for roads to have a surface dressing of tar to abate dust [a commonplace problem] and to waterproof them. Page.47 para 165 1st task was to classify highways. Para 166 Class 1 & 2 = 36,600 miles. By Mch 1929, Class 1: 25,528, Class 2: 15,747. These were the principal highways covering entire country. The total in 1929 was 179,095. 68,000 were receivi ng grants for maintenance and improvement.

Page 49 para 176 Local Government Act 1929 changes in highway administration.

Page 50 para 178 £20m from Fund for roads against £60m spent by Local Authorities.

Page 56 para 198 7000 bridges including those owned by railways, canals and others. Legal requirement to strengthen them was based on needs when bridges were built. Para 199 Recommended not less than 1000 pa programme.

Page 58 para 202 All private bridges should be vested in appropriate highway authority. Precise number unknown. Para 204 No compensation to be paid to bridge owners but they should pay amount saved which would have been s pent on maintenance.

Page 59 para 208 Level crossings dealt with in 1st Report. Should be speedily eliminated & replaced by bridge or tunnel.

Page 72 para 259 Dryland [CC Association] lorries travelling at 40 mph should be 12 mph. Weights carried are "much in excess of legal max.

Page 76, para 271 Wilkinson [Instituteof Municipal & County Engineers] 5 ton vehicles carrying 9/10 tons.

Page 80 para 286 Prior 1896, man ahead on foot, from 1896, 12 mph speed limit permitted, 1903 Motor Act increase to 20 mph. Para 287 Royal Commission on Motor Cars - 51,549 in Dec 1904, 86,638 May 1906 [Cmd 3080, 1906].

Page 81 Para 288 Statistics. Thousands HP class 1922: 314.8, 1930: 1042.3; M/cycle 1922: 377.9, 1930: 698.9; Goods 1922: 150, 1930: 334.2; Hackney 1922: 77.6, 1930: 98.9; All 1922: 952.5, 1930: 2217.6.

Page 83 para 296 80% road borne goods are in owners vehicles.

Page 84 para 300 Many ex-servicemen and others set up in road transport - refers to ease with which 2nd hand vehicles obtained.

Page 115 para 411 Govt formed Canal Control Committee March 1917 & principal non railway owned canals taken over.

Page 117 para 417 Canal traffic tons - railway owned 1924: 2.1m, 1929: 1.8m; others 1924: 14.3m, 1929: 12.6m.

Page 126 para 445 Harbour Companies 100; Railways 50; Local Authority 70; Trusts etc 110. Para 448: 47 Dock undertakings 70% of shipping through them. 25% of shipping through railway ports, mostly coal.

Page 163 [clause lxx] No further tramways to be built. Should disappear.

Page 169 [c] Board of Trade expressed themselves in no uncertain terms of the value of coastwise shipping. Page 171 [cxiv] Recommend permanent Advisory Council on Transport

Page 172 [cxxii] Without unification (a euphemism for nationalisation?) no co-ordination would be successful

Page 174 [cxxii] Transport should not be for profit - a policy adopted by German, and other, railways before the War.

There were 4 minority Reports included covering 59 pages. Main Report 175 pages, Appendices 4 pages.

Legislation against the tram over the years was unfathomable, here are some examples:

The government gave local authorities the power to tax the land beside and between the tram lines while requiring tram companies to maintain it.

No overhead power lines were allowed in many areas because when a tram passed it might interfere with telephone reception.

The metropolitan police would not allow trams to be coupled together for 'safety' reasons nor would they allow windscreens on trams because they were considered to obscure the view.

Over in the U.S.A.

U.S. trams (streetcars) were deliberately shut down by oil and road interests.


Making sure we over-consume

To the index page