18 OCTOBER 1963, Page 16

BETTER BY BUS SIR,—The London Transport Board has not done

itself justice in the way of publicising its recent and 'highly successful measures to cope with traffic con- gestion and overcrowding on the buses. In particular I am referring to the six important changes which have been made to the regulations concerning the running of the buses. As a regular bus-user I have had ample opportunity to benefit from the speeding up of services, and I would like to take this oppor- tunity of drawing attention to these new measures.

Firstly, when three or more passengers are board- ing a bus, at the discretion of the driver or con- ductor the vehicle may move off, at a moderate speed, while passengers are boarding or about to board. (This has proved remarkably effective in facilitating passenger inflow; moreover it prevents overcrowding; and those left behind are in an advantageous position for the next bus.)

Secondly, the conductor is now authorised to call 'Top deck full' without himself having first to go up to see whether or not there are places free.

Thirdly, when approaching an unattended com- pulsory stop passengers intending to alight are re- quired to sound the bell, as they would for a request stop. (A very sensible rule. Now passengers are not carried beyond their stops, as they sometimes were when relying upon the driver.) Fourthly, when there is another vehicle or a line of traffic between a bus and the stop it is approach- ing, at his own ,discretion the driver is permitted to miss that stop.

Fifthly, the conductor now has full authority to disclaim any responsibility for the driver's conduct and vice versa. (Another very sensible rule. It puts a quick end to any dispute between the public and the bus staff.) Lastly, the bus-stop sign is no longer to be re- garded as marking the exact point for the bus to halt at; instead, it now indicates the general area along the pavement about which the bus may stop. (There is no regulation drawing-up distance; give or take five or ten yards is the customary distance that most drivers have adopted.) London Transport is to be congratulated on such measures. We look forward to seeing what they will do next for the safety, speed and convenience of travellers within the metropolitan area.

21 Westminster Mansions, Great Smith Street, SW1