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An application by the Hospital Bus Company, Limited, for an extension of its present Civic SquareBrightside Road service to include Green Lane and Cornwall Hospitals, travelling via Gillies Avenue, King George Avenue, The Drive, Alba Road and Green Lane Road was considered by the Metropolitan Licensing Authority to-day. In opposing the application the Auckland Transport Board asked for a new passenger-service license between the transport terminal and the intersection of Green Lane Road and Great South Road, and a feeder service along Green Lane to the intersection of Great South Road. The city-hospital route was given as via Anzac Avenue, Symonds Street, Grafton Bridge, Park Road, Carlton Gore Road, Davis Crescent, Broadway, Manukau Road and Green Lane.

It was stated that the company desired to cover the area referred to and that the board proposed to service only the hospitals and " not the intermediate area. The application by the Hospital Bus Company, Limited, was supported by the Auckland Rehabilitation Committee and the Auckland R.S.A., it being stated that L. W. G. Grieves, the managing-director, was a returned soldier, who was employing five men returned from overseas service.

Mr. J. Terry, who represented the I applicant company, said the service began in 1924 and later, at the ' request of the authorities, it was » extended to include private hosj pitals in the Epsom area. In November,. 1943, at the special request of ■ the Auckland Hospital Board, nego- ; tiations were entered into to extend L the service to include Green Lane [ and Cornwall Hospitals. An application lodged in February, 1944, was declined, no reasons being given. Apparently it was considered that the service was not necessary and that trams were sufficient. A further application was declined owing to the shortage of petrol and tyres. Board's Decision The Hospital Board still desired the company to operate the service. In June of'this year a Press report indicated that the manager of the Transport Board had received instructions to purchase a bus and begin a service to the Green Lane and Cornwall Hospitals. Apparently the petrol and tyre position had then improved. Counsel pointed out that the company had a fleet of five buses and was capable of providing a service which would be more frequent than one operated by a single bus. Evidence on these lines was given by Lawrence M. G. Grieves. Cross-examined by Mr. J. Stanton, counsel for the board, witness admitted that the application in February, 1944, was in respect to Gillies Avenue, and King George Avenue only. He agreed that there would be a considerable number of residents in the area who would use the proposed service, and he had not thought of excluding people along the route. Witness informed the chairman, Mr. W. H. Nagle, that he had suggested to the Hospital Board that it should stagger the visiting hours as these coincided in most hospitals. The basis of his application was to cater for people going to and from the Green Lane and Cornwall hospitals. Mr. Stanton said that the last application of the company was • made in August, 1944, when it was evident, as it was now, that the service was one for residents. He contended that the company was asking for a reversal of the authority decision, and the only new grounds in support was the taking over of Cornwall Hospital for civilian use. Nobody would deny that the patients, staff and visitors were entitled to a service. No time-table had been submitted for Saturdays or Sundays, and for the week days the time-table submitted provided for residential traffic morning and afternoon. Henry Herbert Morgan, traffic superintendent of the board, said that at present a tram service was run to Green Lane Hospital fromManukau Road during day visiting hours, and he considered this service was adequate. The board's proposal was to run four trips daily from the city to the Green Lane and Cornwall Hospitals and a twentyminute feeder seryice during visiting hours between Manukau Road and Great South Road. This was a temporary service pending the extension of the city traffic service. "No Desire to Pirate" Introducing the board's application, Mr. Stanton said there was no desire to "pirate" on the bus "company. The board proposed to c harge a through fare of 6d, whereas the company suggested a fare of 7d. Further, the board intended that no passengers be set down before Carlton Gore Road and George Street on the outward trips and that none be picked up between those points and the city on the return trips. Mr. Morgan pointed out that the i board had to purchase 110 buses at : a cost of £54,671, when it took over certain services in areas catered for by the trams. The service proposed by the board would meet the needs of hospital staffs going on and com- : ing off duty, as well- as visitors.

To Mr. Terry, witness said that when the board considered the proposed service was necessary Mr. Grieves was asked to hire a bus to the board so that it could run its own service. The board had opposed the earlier application because of the bus service operating in opposition to Manukau Road trams. The 33seater bus which the board had ordered would cost £2900 and no provision had been made for replacement, though the board had some buses available. He was satisfied that the proposed service would run at a loss.

Mr. Terry referred to the fact that the board had issued instructions to the manager to purchase a bus for the service, whereas the application to operate the service was being considered only to-day. Recalled, the witness Grieves said that in the event of his application being granted he would not claim compensation from the board should his service be taken over, provided that he was al-lowed to run for five years. The hearing was adjourned.

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Bibliographic details

HOSPITAL BUS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 172, 23 July 1945

Word Count

HOSPITAL BUS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 172, 23 July 1945

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