The Akaroa Mail. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1914 SHOULD MOTORCARS BE TAXED?
The question as to whether motor-
cars phould be taxed is engaging a
good deal of interest just now. Of one thing there is no doubt, and that is that tbe ears injure roads very considerably; This has been found true in England, where magnificent roads, built in ihe days of the Roman occupation, are showing signs of wear and tear through motor traffic. The theory 13 that the auction of the tyres draws all the earth from round about the pieces of metal, and these work loose from their foundation. Then, of course, there is the heavy vibration which shakes the unprotected metal and causes tho whole formed part of the road to work out, leaving a bed of loose stones most injurious to the tyres of the motor vehicles. The best remedy that could be suggested would be a constant application of clay on
tho roids, the blinding to be rolled in. If thu were done at regular intervals of short duration, the roads should stand the traffic, but nothing else will the destruction of tbe best
metalled road. On the hilly Peninsula roads the havoc worked by the cars can easily be seen, Winds blow away the earth loosened by the action of the cars and the life of a good section of metalling is about halved. The number of cars owned by residents- is bound to increase, so that tbe prubiem muse be faced sooner or later, If ourroad3 are to be maintained up to that high standard, for which tbey have a'w-ys been famous, the local bodies must make up their minds to spend somoivbu'e near double the. amount used in the old days when
there was only horse traffic. Traction engines have always to pay dues, so fcbere seems no reason wby cars should not. The traction engine dues are always paid to (ra local body, and there seem a in reason wby the motor car tax should not be also, The trouble is to know /how to allocate the fax, and how to l^Collect it. A system of toll gate 3at the boundary of each County appears j fto be about Iho only reasonable me tbod, and that would le cumbersome
and costly. The matter bus engaged fcbe attention of several local bodies in ihe North Island, but no workable system has been suggested. Til! that time comes when the tax can be collected and spent io a suitable manner, the inn tor vehicles must continue to be a costly item for tho local bodies whose roads they use. To give an idea of tbo bnrden of the upkeep of main roads is to local bodies, a largo meeting of local bodies about Auckland tnefc in Auckland for the purpose of discussing tbo proposition to ask the Government-to undertake the upkeep of the main arterial roads "As will be 50612 by the abort extract we give be-
low, the motor-car is credited as being responsible for tbe increased cost of upkeep :- " After' some considerable
discussion it was unanimously resolved, ' That this conference affirms
the principle tbat the Government should take over tbe control and up keep of all main arterial roads.' The Mayor of Hamilton," the mover, said that with the advent of the motorcar local bodies were no longer able to face the task; of keeping the main roads in order. A strong committee was formed to place tbe views of the conference before the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Works,''