21 NOVEMBER 1908, Page 19

On Monday the London Traffic Branch of the Board of

Trade, which was appinted in August, 1907, issued its first annual Report. Its purpose is to supplement the Report of the Royal Commission on London Traffic published in 1905. We learn that the number of railway journeys per bead of the population of Greater London increased from 153 in 1905 to 177 in 1907. And according to a footnote, if omnibus and cab journeys be added, the total of journeys was 312 per head last year. There are many other curious figures. In the period 1903-7 the number of hansoms fell off by over 1,500, but the four-wheelers remained nearly constant, though the number of the mechanically propelled four-wheelers rose from 1 in 1903 to 723 in 1907. While motor-omnibuses have caused a depreciation of house property on some routes, in other districts they have been a distinct benefit to owners. In any case, the Report states unequivocally that the motor-omnibus has "come to stay." That announcement does not lessen our hope that its noise will soon be reduced. The controlling power over three of the other tube railways secured by the Underground Electric Railways Company is said to have been a great public con- venience. "An extension of the principle would be attended with still greater benefit." "Through bookings" would then be possible all over London. Finally, the recommendation is reconfirmed that there should be a permanent Traffic Board for London.