Motor Bus Speed Limit of 12 mph Exceeded on Conisborough – Doncaster Route

April 1927

Mexborough and Swinton Times April 8, 1927

Speed Limit Exceeded
Conisborough – Doncaster Route Watched
Motorcycle Police Patrols

At Doncaster on Tuesday Percy J Templeman, a motor bus driver, of Swinton, was summoned for having exceeded the speed limit of 12 mph on travellelig from  the Star Hotel, Conisborough to Doncaster.

Detective Sgt Grimshaw said that on March 21 he tested the speed of the bus driven by the defendant, who left the Star Hotel, Conisborough at 4:56 PM and arrived at the Doncaster borough boundary, on the travel distance of 3 ½ miles at 5.04 PM.

The bus stop three times to pick up and set down passengers, and at one time it travelled at 30 mph.

The witness was with another officer riding a motorcycle combination, and they tested the buses speed by a speedometer. The witness followed the bus into Doncaster, where the defendant said he knew the speed limit was 12 mph.

The bus was owned by the Barnsley and district Traction Company, weighed two tons, 19 hundredweight and was fitted with pneumatic tyres. According to the timetable the bus had 35 minutes in which to go from Mexborough to Doncaster, a distance of 8 miles. Witness was sent specially on this duty as the result of complaints.

Mr Frank Allen, for the defence, suggest that the distance from the Star Hotel, Conisborough, to the borough boundary was nothing like 3 ½ miles but nearer two and three quarter miles.

Supt Minty said there have been many similar prosecutions and Lancashire. Police found it was essential for the safety of the public to take action in these cases. He himself had travelled on a public vehicle recently and that bus not only passed other buses but touring cars.

Mr Allen said there was no evidence as to the exact speed at which the bus was travelling except that it had been measured by a speedometer.

In reply to the Chairman, Mr GE Cooke Yarborough, superintendent Minty said his instructions were that where motor buses were considerably exceeding the speed limit of 12 miles an hour proceeding should be taken.

The Chairman said there was no question that the motor bus was exceeding the speed limit. The speed limit for motor buses was on a different footing to that for ordinary light motor cars. As far as motor buses were concerned, legislation was quite recent.

A motor bus was not only very heavy, but very big, and in some cases the bus was or might be an obstruction to all the traffic on the road on account of its size. That was why the limit was fixed at 12 mph.

The experience of the Bench was that motor buses were becoming longer, if not wider, and had also more powerful engines. The result was that when faster traffic wanted to pass them it had great difficulty in doing so. A motor bus going at 12 miles an hour could be passed in safety, but not if it was going at 30 mph. The Bench drew a big distinction between motor buses and motor cars. He understood that it was a policy of the West Riding Police now to endeavour for this public safety to keep the speed of these vehicles at their proper limit.

This was the first prosecution in the district, and a penalty of £3 would be imposed. If the offences continued, and further cases were brought before them they would increase the penalty.