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Road Transport Vehicles


INSTRUCTIVE figures are given in World Power of June showing the relative progress made by the three principal types of road transport vehiclestramways, motor-buses and trolley-buses. In 1930-31, tramways transported 72.7 per cent of all passengers, the motor-bus 24.2 per cent and the trolley-bus 3.1 per cent. In 1934-35 the figures were 59 per cent, 35 per cent and 6 per cent respectively. Although the tram ways with 2,479 million passengers in 1934-35 still convey more persons than the motor-bus and trolley bus combined, the decline of tramway passengers since 1930-31, when it was 3,018 millions, has been continuous. During the year 1935, the number of passengers carried by the trolley-buses was 255 millions, an increase of 36 per cent on the preceding year. The London Passenger Transport Board recently reported an increase of 20 per cent in the London area along trolley-bus routes. It has been calculated that an oil-driven bus would require a 250 horse-power engine to equal the performance of a 100 horse-power trolley-bus with a capacity of 36 seats carrying a full load up a 7 per cent gradient at a speed of 30 miles per hour. From the point of view of national economy, it is a pity, although trolley-bus progress is satisfactory, that it is not making more rapid headway. In the near future, it may be of primary importance to consume home-produced fuel to produce the necessary motive power for traction. When the traffic is very heavy, electric tramways are the most economical, but tram-cars often stop the traffic to unload passengers, whilst trolley-buses can unload them directly on the pavement.

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Road Transport Vehicles. Nature 138, 322 (1936).

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