The Star. MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 1880.
As all oomo uuder the designation of consumers,, so in all matters of morality, politics, and social life, the coarse which is most calculated to advanoe the moral aud social welfare and promote the interests of all, should find acceptance. In other words, individual interests and class and sectional claims must yield to that which is most capable of serving the whole. This, we take it, is the fundamental principle of liberalism. It was in recognition of this principle that wo hailed the introduction of tramways in this city. It is open now to anyone to travel to Papanui— and in a day or two more tho observation will apply equally to Sydenhr. m _ a nd back ngain for sixpence, w^ri, in the daya
anterior to the tramway, the journey in a cab would have cost four or five sbillings; thus there is a great saving afforded to the public, and we are justified in the advocacy of the claims of the Oompany, which we entered upon before the construction of the first line was commenced. We do not regret that advocacy, nor are we about to withdraw one word which we then advanced ; at the same time it must be obvious that there are quite a number of other things which the public have a right to expect from this Company in addition to cheap carriage. The Oompany is a commercial association, and the chief aim of its directors is large dividends—and no doubt ifc may be added — plenty of them. In seeking to achieve their purposo it is important to the citizens that the ordinary traffic of the streets should not be obstructed, nor the legitimate rights of others be wantonly assailed. The citizens have also fair reason fco expect tbat all the conveniences and appliances whioh modern science has given to and brought to bear upon the subject of travelling by the agency of steam motors, will be adopted by the Oompany as soon as possible. The Ohristchurch Tramway Company have been exceedingly fortunate in securing from the Oity Council most extensive and valuable privileges, aud ifc is very doubtful indeed whether, if they had to begin de novo, they wjuld find themselves successful to an equal extent. The Ohairman of the Oompany is a gentleman, energetic and shrewd, with regard to whom a general impression prevails that his views in reference to the limitations affecting the conduct of business are not such as are generally held by Englishmen • and to this as well as to his intelligence and indefatigable activity must certainly be ascribed the highly favourable position which the Oompany have secured. It is just that this compliment should be paid to the Ohairman of the Ofai-ist-church Tramway Company. We are of opinion that the business of the Tramway Oompany — which it must be remembered is at present only in an infantile condition — might very well be conducted without surrendering to them the whole of the main thoroughfare in the square for a public station. There are streets in which there is very little vehicla traffic leading to the Post Office and to their own offices and station, into which the tramcars might very easily have been made to withdraw for the purpose of depositing and receiving passengers ; also, the line might have been taken round the cathedral or round the statue enclosure, so as to leave the main thoroughfare as free as possible. The Company appear, however, to insist upon layiDg down their sidings in the very bueiest parts of the city. In front of the market, wbere no doubt the ordinary traffic will soon be very large, they have managed by some means to secure a Biding ; and between the Bank of New Zealand and the City Hotel — the moat crowded and therefore dangerous part of the whole city — they have another. It seems to us that the interests of the general community have not been fairly considered in granting such extensive, and, so far as the public are concerned, wholly unnecessary rights. We are informed — and we put this forward of course with this qualification — that the Company in putting down the High street tram, ran their line straight into the Colombo street one ; having secured this line, they then went to the Corporation, represented the disadvantage and danger of the construction, and obtained permission to construct a fresh tram, curving more in towards the cab-stand in front of the City Hotel, pledging themselves at the same time to abandon the original track. The original track has not been taken up, as it ought to have been in accordance with the agreement with the Council ; on the contrary, a portion of it is being used as a siding at this moment. The original tram is still down, one-half of it in use, the other half covered with mud, but no doubt when the Sydenham lino is opened, or when the pressure of business seems to c^ll for it, both lines will be used as if both had been unequivocally granted. The Council at considerable expense put down a cab-stand opposite the City Hotel, but it will be of very little benefit to either Council, cabbies, or public, if the tram-cars are to hold the street at this place. If our information is re* liable, this point 3 to a kind of Yankee trickery, to which lovers of fair dealing are likely to object most strongly. Indeed, we have never been able to understand how the Company have been allowed to carry their tram down High street to the railway, station, when they already had a line to that point. It would almost seem as if the purpose was to monopolise the street, and drive all other kinde of locomotion out of existence. Another, and very serious ground of complaint is to be found in the engineering of the Oompany. Tbe curves and points of the tramways have always been an unmitigated source of annoyance. It is nothing to the public, of course, how much the Company's motors and rolling stock may be racked, depreciated and eventually destroyed by the constant shaving of tires and running off the line, but it is a nuisance to the passengers to bave their progress stayed whilst a crowd assembles, to have to sit whilst the levering and jerking process is going forward, and the traffic of the streets has to be stayed. The curves of the lines, which, of course, are at the crossings of the Btreet3,. should be laid down so aB to secure that the carß will travel easily, and without inconvenience or danger to the ordinary, traffic. The points are another source of annoyance. It is absurd to labour under a system in which the cars have to be pulled up whilst a man jumps down to adjust ithe points, or to have men — in danger of being driven over — stationed in the streets to adjust tbe points, when self-adjusting points can very easily be obtained which will obviato every inconvenience. The City Council mußt look more closely after the interests of the public in theoe matters *, we fear the Council has been altogether too easy and confiding in the past. The break can now, however, VBiy easily be applied. Let not another concession of any kind be granted to tho Company until the evils to whioh we have referred have been rectified, and something will be done to remedy to some extent the laxity of the past. Municipal Committees. — A mooting of the Works' Committeo was held this morning. It was decided that as tlio Tramway Company had failed to remove tho standingplace opposito Fisher's cornor, tho Surveyor bo instruc' od to remove il forthwith. Otlicr business of a routine nature \v:is transacted. Tlio Finance Committei- he-Li a meetiug :ijid pus-jed tho usuul uccounts,
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The Star. MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 1880., Star, Issue 3841, 9 August 1880
The Star. MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 1880. Star, Issue 3841, 9 August 1880
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