To the CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF GLASGOW
My Lord Provost, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In presenting this report I have again to draw
your attention to the serious difficulties in recruiting and retaining
staff. Unfortunately this is not generally recognized by the
travelling public who are too prone to overlook the good conduct,
courtesy and sense of discipline of the older employees because
of the deficiencies of the raw recruits.
During the last three months the Department carried
out an analysis of the traffic resignations, and the following
figures are of interest :—
traffic resignations from 24ra march, 1951 to ?th july, 1951.
Length of Service—
Less than 1 year ... ... ... ...514
1 year—3 years ... ... ... ...288
3 years—5 years ... ... ... ... 98
5 years—10 years ... ... ... . 26
10 years—20 years ... ... ... 38
Over 20 years ... ... ... ... ... 34
These figures indicate that the mainstay of the
Department are the men and women with over 5 years' service. In
particular, they show the large number of employees who only stay
a few months in our employment ; and, if these persons are deficient
in manners or uncouth in speech, it is an indication of a poor
Ill-informed members of the public from time
to time refer to faulty schedule planning as a source of some of
our difficulties : it should be understood, however, that running
to a timetable is as important in a bus or tram undertaking as
with a railway system and as desirable from the point of view of
the travelling public. The Committee should know, however, that
any complaint from the employees' Union about insufficient running
time is invariably investigated and settled to the mutual satisfaction
of the Union and the Department. So far as the buses are concerned,
the timetables are also approved by the Licensing Authority before
they are put into operation. A driver is never expected to act
recklessly in order to make up lost time, nor is he censured if
he is unable to keep to his time schedule because of traffic congestion.
Traffic congestion, particularly during the dark, wet nights in
November, December and January, is a major problem and is becoming
progressively worse. The parked motor car along our main streets
is the worst offender and is the principal cause of street congestion
which is so harassing to the nerves of the public service driver.
The Department has taken steps to assist in this matter, such as
the removal of trams from the Albert Bridge and the proposed withdrawal
of trams from the Victoria Bridge. Bus services, too, are terminated
at such places as St. Enoch Square, Carlton Place, Broomielaw and
Renfrew Street. We are at present studying the possibility of relieving
the congestion on the George V Bridge. All these palliatives, however,
cause inconvenience to the travelling public, and it is in the
public interest that the question of parked vehicles should be
The financial position of the Department must
be a matter of serious concern to all. We are unable to meet the
demands of the public for transport and are still expanding our
services, so that the operation of the Department at a loss can
only be a question of national or local expediency. The payment
of large sums of money as interest on temporary loan cannot be
justified, either from a financial or economic point of view.
To the CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF GLASGOW
my lord provost, ladies and gentlemen,
As forecast in my 1954 Report, further inflation
has adversely affected the finances of the Department, so that
instead of an anticipated surplus of £221,700 there was a
deficit of £74,563. As shown on page 13 of the Report, further
increases in wages occurred during the year at an annual cost of £384,890;
this included a sum of £54,600 granted locally to drivers
and conductors additional to the national awards. The Corporation
also granted concession fares to aged persons which are estimated
to cost £45,000 per annum.
A significant trend during the year has been
the fall in traffic revenue as compared with the previous year—the
first reduction since 1940. The drop in traffic revenue was £106,631.
During the year the Corporation ceased to operate Routes Nos. 12,
14, 20, 41 and 44, which over a period of 14 ½ weeks represented
a loss in revenue of £37,000, so that the drop in revenue
due to fewer passengers travelling was £69,631. This trend
is general throughout our industry and should receive special attention
from the employees when negotiating for any further increases in
Special reference is made on this subject in the 1954 British
Transport Commission Report, paragraphs 11 and 12, viz. :—
"11. It was possible during 1954 to develop
the policy of introducing greater flexibility into fare fixing.
For example, more cheap excursion fares were introduced on the
railways, usually available at mid-week and mainly for journeys
over 100 miles ; cheap day return facilities were extended, in
many cases with the object of encouraging off-peak travel, and
an experiment in cheap evening fares was made in London.
12. But on the whole and notwithstanding these
inducements, the tendency was for short distance travel to decline,
and for short journeys to become still shorter. No doubt there
were many influences at work, such as the growth of television,
new housing, and increased private motoring in the urban areas.
There was also the effect of the strike in October on London Transport
bus services which lasted for a week. By contrast, the average
receipt per railway journey outside the London Area was slightly
higher than in 1953, and the average journey was slightly longer."
The Report also makes reference to Glasgow in paragraph 23 :
"23. The acute problems of passenger transport
in Glasgow, to which the Report of the Inglis Committee to the
Commission in 1951 had directed attention, were the subject of
discussions with the Glasgow Corporation through a Joint Committee
on which the Commission is represented. The Commission have taken
the view that substantial electrification of certain suburban lines,
as sug gested by the Inglis Report, is probably the only satisfactory
solution to the City's transport difficulties. The large capital
expenditure entailed could not however be undertaken without the
collaboration of the Glasgow Corporation in certain important respects." .
It is fair to remark that the problems of passenger
transport mentioned are not peculiar to Glasgow and, indeed, London,
with a great network of electrified railways, is probably more
acutely affected by road traffic congestion than any other city.
Paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of the 1954 London Transport Report confirm
this development :"
4. While 1954, therefore, saw many significant develop ments, the year was
marked by increasing difficulties in the operation of the road services.
Staff shortages became acute in certain important grades, and there were
some labour difficulties. There was severe competition from private cars
and other vehicles for road space. With plans already announced for a vast
extension of motor vehicle manufacturing capacity, this competition is likely
to become still more intense, and the operation of the public road services
will become increasingly difficult. A solution must be found to this problem
in the interests of the whole community, for the bus, which is much the most
efficient user of road space for city transport, is in effect not being allowed
to do its job. In fairness to its users, it should be allowed to do its job
properly and effectively as a public service vehicle. In many parts of London
it cannot do so to-day. ,
5. As a consequence partly of the frustration
of the bus and partly of the increasing supply of private vehicles,
the number of passengers carried on the road services again declined
in 1954, while wage rates again rose. The competition for traffic,
like the competition for road space, is likely to become more intense
every year, and the bus will have to compete keenly with the private
car in respect of speed, comfort, and price of the journey.
6. London Transport, like urban passenger transport
everywhere, has thus entered a critical period. A thoroughly
efficient and effective system of public transport in London is
as essential to the life of the community as it ever was. Great
exertion, resource, and ingenuity are demanded of management and
staff alike if the problems of our time are to be met successfully." It
is, therefore, over-optimistic of the British Transport Commission
to suggest that the only satisfactory solution to our City's transport
difficulties is the electrification of certain suburban lines.Glasgow
should have the advantage of being municipally controlled so that
the various committees considering traffic congestion should be
influenced to see that everything possible is accomplished in order
that the public transport system may operate smoothly and efficiently.I
would commend to those interested in this subject a study of the
paper prepared by Mr. Nielsen, the General Manager of the Copenhagen
Transport Department, for the 1955 International Congress at Naples
; in particular, the reference to the No Parking ban existing in
Philadelphia is of special interest.A graph showing the decline
in passenger traffic as compared with the registration of new motor
cars is shown on page 24. For comparison purposes a similar graph
taken from the 1953-54 Annual Report of Sydney, Australia, is reproduced.Various
economies have been effected during the year and, like other transport
undertakings, the Department's Chemist and Engineers have collaborated
with manufacturers to achieve the maximum efficiency in operation.The
main economy in any transport undertaking is accomplished by a
constant review of the services, and the yardstick for this is
the revenue per mile for each route, which is examined weekly so
that necessary adjustments can be made.The staffing position is
often the main reason for not improving service frequency, but,
if staff were available, the effect on the finances of the Department
of improving the services is illustrated from the following example
service 42 barlanark.
Prior to 20th February, 1955. Costs 29-70d.
Weekly Mileage 6,378 ; Frequency 10 minutes.
Average Revenue 29-Od. per mile.
Weekly Loss 70d. per mile = £18.
From 20th February, 1955. Costs now 29-82d.
Weekly Mileage 8,250 ; Frequency 8 minutes.
Average Revenue 27-Od. per mile.
Weekly loss 2 82d. per mile £97.
Therefore Improved frequency has resulted in increasing loss
on this service by £79 per week =£4,108 per
Good progress has been made in the past year
in the application of the Incentive Bonus Scheme to Larkfield Bus
Works and Coplawhill Car Works and the Bus Works are 100 per cent,
applied. In Coplawhill Car Works the only two sections which have
not agreed to participation in the Incentive Bonus Scheme are the
bodymakers and the painters who are working on the old established
contract bonus scheme. The Engineering Section at Coplawhill, who
were previously in receipt of 25 per cent, or 33J per cent, dependent
upon the section, have come into the new scheme and satisfactory
results are being obtained by the Department and increased earnings
received by the employees.
The trial application has been completed at Possilpark
Tram Depot and at Larkfield Garage and again results appear to
substantiate the original forecast made by the Consultants which
formed the basis of their appointment by the Corporation. Initial
stages in the application to additional depots and garages
have now been taken and progress should be much better in the new
financial year, given active cooperation by the representatives
of the workmen concerned.
At the Underground Section good progress has
been made towards the full application at these workshops, although
work was only started in April and the entire staff will be operating
on bonus within the next few weeks.
The most significant feature of the application
of this incentive scheme has been that, although full employment
and the attraction of outside industry is still operative in the
Glasgow area, the drift of tradesmen and all classes who are likely
to be affected by the incentive scheme, has reached a complete
halt. In general, the morale of the workshop and depot staffs is
higher than existed under previous working conditions.
E. R. L. FITZPAYNE,
46 Bath Street,
5th September, 1955.