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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 6 (October 1, 1927)

Road Services

Road Services.

Few Home railways have been more to the fore in the development of road transport as a feeder to rail than the Great Western. So page 21 long ago as 1903 this line inaugurated a passenger road service in Cornwall, while on the freight side steam-driven road lorries were employed in the Birmingham area for general delivery services as far back as 1902. To-day a special road transport department, with headquarters at Paddington Station, London, supervises the operation of 206 Great Western passenger-carrying road vehicles and 650 road motors and steam wagons. The route mileage covered by the passenger cars totals 1,223, and some six million passengers annually are handled. Eighty-four depots are maintained at important industrial and agricultural centres in connection with freight haulage by road, while special repair shops are located at four divisional points.

It is the established policy of the Great Western Railway in its road transport activities to mould the services in such a manner as to provide feeders for the ordinary train services. Cut-throat competition with outside road transport agencies is never attempted. Outside road carriers are, in fact, encouraged in their task, and the endeavour is always to get these road transport undertakings to work in amicable fashion with the railway in connection with the through movement of passengers and freight. There is undoubtedly big scope for the same co-ordination of rail and road transport services in every land, and the example set by the Great Western under this head is worthy of every commendation.