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RAILWAY CHARGES.

At the meeting of the County Council on Wednesday, Mr. Grigg drew attention to the high rates for carriage charged by the railway authorities, and emphasised the point chat the tariff was the same on our lines, that run through level country and were constructed at comparatively trifling cost, as the rates charged for carriage on railways in Otago, where the railways were constructed only after a great outay. This is a subject that the district is indebted to Mr. Grigg for ventilating, and which it ought to be the duty of all the public bodies to agitate. It is the right of those who are fortunate in securing physical advantages, such as nearness to streams of water, bush, etc., to profit by [these advantages, and if, for instance, we should complain that our land is dry and exposed, as our plains are, we will be told that these are our misfortunes and .that they must be borne with. are our misfortunes that be borne, then surely the inexpensiveness of our railway lines is one of our few pieces of good fortune, and we ought to profit by it. In no other part of the colony have long stretches of railway lines been laid down at such small cost as has the part of the main line that runs through the Canterbury plains, and surely we ought to be allowed a concession on this account. But this matter leads up to the larger question of railway fares and rates in general, and when the formidable figure one has to pay before he can undertake a journey of any length is considered, it must be at once allowed that the high tariff militates against business. Not one of the many trains that run on our lines do their full share of business, and only one or two do even a fair share. We feel certain that were large concessions made to the public in the direction of lowering the fares, and reducing the parcel rates, an increase of work would accrue that would be profitable in the highest degree to the lines, as double or treble the number of travellers would use the railway. In these times especially a few shillings are a consideration, and many keep at home who would willingly travel were fares less formidable.

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RAILWAY CHARGES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 85, 10 April 1880

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