Transportation situation in Britain.
Appropriately enough, as the year 1930 drew towards a close there was published one of the most thoughtful reviews yet produced of the transportation situation in Great Britain, and the respective parts likely to be occupied in the future by rail and road transport. Much that is contained in this review, which took the form of a report (prepared by Sir Henry Maybury, Mr. James Milne, Mr. Frank Pick and Mr. E. S. Shrapnell-Smith) for submission to the Sixth International Road Congress at Washington, U.S.A., is of interest to railwaymen everywhere, and especially in New Zealand, where road transport is now making such rapid progress.
The root principle of railroad correlation and co-ordination, this review stated, was to secure a just balance and proportion between rail and road systems. Roads were essential to the service of railways, except for certain heavy types of traffic such as coal and minerals employing railways alone for their movement between, say, mine and seaport, or mine and works sidings. It was much to be regretted that the Home railways had had seventy years of progress almost to themselves, and after that, that road motors had had thirty years of progress almost to themselves. Had both developed side by
side, as was the case in some of the younger lands, they would have adjusted themselves to each other, step by step, with the result that the traffic would have sorted itself out to one or other mode of conveyance, as the service rendered seemed to be most suitable and convenient. In the main, roads should serve the villages and scattered rural populations, and railways the towns and the still larger aggregations of population.
British Passenger Accommodation.
Third Class Sleeping Car on the L. and N.E. Railway.
By road the traffic of the country could be brought to the town and bulked together, so that it could be handled in larger units, e.g., in wagon loads rather than less-than-wagon loads, with resultant economy in cost and with greater speed. Railways and roads should be put upon equal terms in the conduct of their affairs. Especially should railways be freed from the present excess of regulations which hampered and impaired the management. Rail and road carriers should be brought together into groups, each having a definite relation to the economic boundaries and traffic areas of the country, and a proper understanding of the services which can be properly rendered by rail and road respectively, should be established.