SPENCER HUGH JACKSON AND THE BUS BAN (MORNINGTON PENINSULA, VIC., AUST.)
THE BUS BAN.
Spencer Jackson was Dromana's dynamo and his fellow members of members of the Mornington Peninsula Development League used a similar term to describe him: LIVE WIRE!
PENINSULA DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE MEETING AT HASTINGS.
Frankston and Somerville Standard (Vic. : 1921 - 1939) Friday 16 November 1928 p 2 Article (EXTRACTS.)
A "LIVE WIRE."
Mr.. Spencer Jackson forwarded
cheque for subscription, and £2/2/ as
his annual donation. He hoped that
members would use their best endea
vors to increase the membership. He
also offered the use of his Melbourne
office to the league if it was required
at any time. A vote "of thanks was
passed to Mr. Jackson for the great
interest he was taking in the. league.
R A.C.V. SPEED TESTS.
Mr Jackson reported that he had
had a visit from Mr H. J. Bean and
that the R.AC.V was holding speed
and acceleration tests on Safety
Beach, Dromana, on December 1. One
thousand motor cars were expected.
If the meeting was successful the club
would hold another in January. The
Dromana Progress Assdciation had
been asked to co -operate in organis
ing. Volunteers were, also required
to control the traffic.He suggested
that the league render assistance.
The profits would be donated to any
public charity that Dromana Progress
consents to give them to. He moved
that the league support.
I thought his BEAUTIFUL DROMANA of 1927 nothing more than an advertorial and that his incredible achievements of running the huge fundraising ball of 1928 that enabled construction of the road to the summit of Arthurs Seat, and being a prime mover in finally getting the coast road from Mornington to Dromana built and getting the bus ban lifted were motivated by his business interests.
UNTIL I SAW THIS!
DYSON. On July 27, at Dromana, George Robert Dyson, a truly noble character, much-esteemed friend of Spencer Jackson. (P.2, Argus,28-7-1944.)
BANNED ROAD SERVICES.
BAYSIDE RESORTS HARD HIT.
GREAT PUBLIC INDIGNATION.
What Will Railways Gain?
(BY OUR SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE.)
Residents of the Mornington Peninsula
who had enjoyed in recent years a period
of remarkable progress and prosperity, have
suffered a severe blow through the with-
drawal of private motor-omnibus services,
which has virtually thrown them back to
the unenviable stage when they had no
direct transport service to Melbourne. Lead-
ing residents of Dromana and Rosebud
yesterday said that the astonishing develop-
ment of the buside resorts in that district
was due entirely to motor transport, and
condemned the sweeping provisions of the
Motor-'bus (Urban and Country) Act which
have forced private motor-'buses off the
road and left the district without adequate
transport facilities. Investigation of the
business affairs of many traders suggests
that the falling off in passenger traffic
already (allowing for the diminution due
to the winter season) has seriously affected
Back to the "Rabbit Express."
It is impossible to find logic in the reason-
ing of the authorities who have brought
the Mornington Peninsula within the scope
of the ban. It is poorly served by the rail-
way, and the most absurd part of the pre-
sent prohibition is that the Railways de-
partment has nothing satisfactory to sub-
stitute for the 'buses. Nor can it hope to
add more than a paltry few pounds a week
to its revenue by inducing a few visitors
to submit to the annoyance and inconveni-
encee of changing from the electric train
at Frankston to motor-'buses travelling to
Sorrento and Portsea. Ten years ago the
residents of Sorrento, Rosebud, or Dro-
mana who desired to travel to Melbourne
by train in the morning began the jour-
ney before daylight in a horse-drawn
vehicle which conveyed fish and rabbits
to Mornington. This conveyance is now
historic. It was known in the district as the
"rabbit express." It deposited its weary
passengers at the Mornington railway sta-
tion in time for the morning train. Several
residents of the district invested their capi-
tal in the purchase of motor-'buses, and
completely changed the outlook for the
peninsula. Not only were residents enabled
to go to and from Melbourne in an hour or
two, but the service attracted Melbourne
people to bayside resorts which hitherto
had boen inaccessible to the majority of
wage-earners. The direct result of these
'bus services was reflected in the erection
of new shops and dwellings. Land values
rapidly increased, and Dromana, Rosebud,
Rye, and other places experienced a pros-
perity undreamed of a year or two pre-
viously. Residents of townships inland on
the peninsula also enjoyed the privilege
of speedy motor transport. It would be
an exaggeration, of course, to suggest that
the district has been crippled by the 'bus
ban, but there has been severe retrogres-
sion. The population of the peninsula is
exceedingly loyal to the private bus owners,
and has been since the inception of the
services, and the obligation under the new
law to break the journey at Frankston has
increased the hostility which the district
has shown towards the Railways depart-
ment. This attitude began when the Rail-
ways Commissioners instituted a motor-'bus
service in opposition to private enterprise.
Residents objected strongly to that en-
croachment upon a field pioneered by
private enterprise, and in which, they
claimed, there was not sufficient competi-
tion with the railways to justify the step.
The exasperating delays, inconvenience,
and difficulty in reaching Dromana by the
"official" route (for several five-passenger
motor cars licensed by the hackney car-
riage committee of the Melbourne City
Council, still ply between Melbourne and
Sorrento) was shown yesterday. Inquiry
made at the Tourist Bureau elicited the in-
formation that the only train for passengers
to Dromana left Flinders street at 9.20 a.m.
A return ticket to Frankston was neces-
sary. Upon arrival at Frankston the pas-
senger walked along a ramp a distance of
about 400 yards to a motor- bus stand. The
walk suggested the difficulties which would
befall elderly persons with luggage or
mothers with infants and small children.
The passenger had boarded the train at
Caulfield, and it was not until he reached
Frankston that he was told that at Flinders
street he could have purchased a combined
train and 'bus ticket from Melbourne to
Dromana and return, although that infor-
mation could easily have been supplied by
the Tourist Bureau. At Dromana it was
leamed that the bus did not leave Dromana
for Frankston until 5 o'clock. The pas-
senger decided to return to Melbourne
earlier in the afternoon in one of the hire
cars, which cover the distance in little
more than an hour, or about half the time
occupied by the train and 'bus by way of
Frankston. The opinion was freely ex-
pressed at several bayside resorts visited
yesterday that the only persons whom the
Railways department could expect to travel
by the train and 'bus route would be
strangers. Residents of the district having
business in the city invariably patronise
the hire cars, and it was predicted that
Melbourne residents who have gone regu-
larly to the peninsula for holidays will also
adopt that method, or forego their visits.
Hardships of 'Bus Owners.
Apart from the widespread discomfort
to the travelling public, the ban has been
disastrous to those who invested their capi-
tal in motor-'buses. At Rosebud a limb-
less soldier, who has a wife and three chil-
dren, and is a skilful driver in spite of an
artificial leg, has six motor-'buses idle in
his garage. They represent all his capital.
His position is so acute that he has been
forced to dismiss his three assistants (all
former soldiers) and is now himself en-
gaged in carting wood. Before the ban
he used 500 gallons of petrol weekly; now
he sells about 12 gallons a week to motor-
ists and uses a gallon or two himself.
That is a typical instance of the strangling
of private enterprise which was performing
an essential public service. At Dromana
one of the most respected families in the
district is in similar straits. All of its capi-
tal is represented by splendid motor-'buses
idle in the garage, and for which no buyers
can be found. One private service has
undertaken the Frankston-Sorrento route,
and co-operates with the Railways depart-
ment. The other private 'bus owners de-
cline to apply for licences for this route
(although they state that they have been
urged by the Country Roads Board to do
so) because they are certain that the pas-
senger traffic would not enable them to
pay expenses. Several of them, however,
maintain a daily five-passenger service be-
tween Melbourne and Sorrento, because
they believe that the present ban cannot
continue. Although there are 24 trains
daily to Frankston in the winter, the Sor-
rento-Portsea 'bus meets only three. To
adapt Punchs' famous advice to those
about to marry, wise counsel to passengers
intending to travel on one of the 21 trains
which are not met by a 'bus is "Don't."
"Public Rights Infringed "
Indignation was expressed yesterday by
several leading towspeople of Dromana
and Rosebud over what was called "an
iniquitous position" and "an unwarrant-
able infringement of public rights." Mr.
W. J. Chadwick, of Dromana, said that it
was outrageous to penalise the private 'bus
owners who had served the public so well.
"What does this district contribute to the
railways?" asked Mr. Chadwick. "Little
or nothing. The ban is a most distressing
setback to the district. People had an
easy and cheap way of moving about the
peninsula. Many Melbourne residents have
come here for years because of the 'bus
service, and have become property-owners.
Many week-end residents have been built
solely because of the 'buses. The Railways
department will not benefit through their
withdrawal. Some people will stay away
from the district, and others who can afford
it will buy motor-cars. People will not
submit to the inconvenience of changing
from train to 'bus, when under the old
system the 'bus picked them up at their
doors and set them down at their destina-
Councillor Shaw, of the Flinders Shire
Council, said that the recent progress of the
district was due entirely to motor-'bus faci-
lities. The Frankston service, he predicted
would be a failure. People would not bother
to change. The ban would harm the dis-
trict considerably. He estimated that 96
per cent. of the residents of the bayside
from Portsea to Dromana would decline to
travel by train. He trusted that the leader
of the Opposition (Sir William McPher-
son) would lose no time in urging Parlia-
ment to amend the law to exempt certain
districts from the provisions of the act.
Similar views were espressed by Coun-
cillor T. W. Chadwick, of Rosebud. Land
values had increased greatly since the
'buses ran through to Melbourne, he said.
Land which six years ago was sold at £1
a foot had recently been sold at £10 a foot.
Storekeepers in the district had been hard hit.(P. 16, Argus, 29-6-1928.)
Spencer Jackson's letter.
('BUS BAN. TO THE EDITOR OF THE ARGUS.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Monday 11 February 1929 p 17 Article)
Railways Commissioners' Defence.
A letter waS published on Monday from
the secretary of the Dromana Progress
Association (Mr. Spencer H. Jackson), in
which complaint was made of the Railways
motor-bus services on the Mornington
peninsula, which were described as shock-
ingly inadequate, and such as to retard
the development of holiday resorts on the
peninsula. At the same time, Mr. Jack-
son wrote to the Railways Commissioners,
expressing keen disappointment at the
manner in which the department was re
tarding the district.
In reply Mr. Jackson has received a let-
ter from the secretary of the department
(Mr. E.C.Eyers), pointing, out that at
the time of the introduction of the Motor
Omnibus (Urban and Country) Act five
commercial road motor passenger services
(including the service operated by the de-
partment) were running. When portion
of the route between Melbourne and
Frankston was prohibited the department
withdrew its road service, as did one of
the other operators (Dyson's Motors), who
applied for and obtained a licence to oper-
ate over the authoriscd route between
Frankston and the peninsula. All other
operators, Mr. Eyers states, in defiance of
the law, have continued to run to and
from Melbourne practically as formerly,
sometimes with large omnibuses and fre
qucntly with more than five passengers.
Dyson's Motors, who are the only author-
ised operators, and who are carrying pas
sengers between Frankston and the penin-
sula under contract with the department.
have so far obtained only a negligible por-
tion of the business they were entitled to
expect, because of the continued operations
of the unauthorised services to and from
Melbourne. The commissioners are op-
posed to the through running from Mel-
bourne in contravention of the law, but
they have no voice in the administration
of the act, and are therefore powerless in
the matter. In their opinion there is no
reason why the combined rail and road
facilities should not meet fully the require
ments of the district. The journey, they
consider, can be made in the same time
as by the through road services, and large
expenditure has been incurred at Frank-
ston to make the change at that point easy
-"During the current holiday season," con-
tinued Mr. Eyers, both the department
and Dyson's Motors made elaborate ar-
rangements, at considerable cost, to handle
expeditiously an anticipated large volume
of traffiic to and from the peninsula. The
arrangements, however, proved to bo quite
unnecessary, and the expenditure was
money lost, because the business did not
go by rail, but was secured by the un-
authorised 'through' services. While
these unauthorised services are permitted
to continue it would be quite unreason-
able' to expect Dyson's Motors to incur
further losses by increasing a service which
is already greater than is necessary on the
basis of the patronage accorded it. At the
present time three trains are met by
Dyson's Motors in each direction daily
(except on Sundays, when two trains are
met), and on only a very negligible num-
ber of occasions have the train connections
been missed. With the exception of these
occasions, the time-table has been closely
In reply to Mr. Eyers' letter, Mr. Jack-
son- contends that the department
has proved beyond doubt that it cannot
offer inducements to the travelling public
to use its means of transport. He con-
siders the railway fare to Frankston and
the 'bus charge of 5/- for an 18-mile jour-
ney excessive when, compared with the
"unauthorised" motors' charge of only 7/0
for a 44-mile journey. The small amount
of money received by the department for
the actual use of its railroad does not, he
thinks, justify tho continuance of the re-
strictions on the motor services of the
peninsula. Mr. Jackson states that the
buses miss the connecting trains more
often than they meet them, and that they
have proved that they cannot consistently
do the journey in an hour and a half, as
the "unauthorised" motors do regularly.
The president of the Dromana Progress
Association (Mr.S.Jackson) said that he
could produce the dates of 33 occasions in
February on which Dyson's bus had missed
the connecting train at Mornington.
( 'BUS BAN OPPOSED. PENINSULA SERVICE SAID TO BE INADEQUATE. Minister Will Not Promise Relief.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Wednesday 27 March 1929 p 7 Article
... * deputation from the Mornington peninsula)
Things weren't looking so promising at the end of 1929 so I tried the next decade only to find one article. The Shire of Flinders had protested against the bus ban, this article hidden among countless articles about football.
'BUS BAN PROTEST. Flinders Council Takes Action.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Thursday 6 February 1930 p 10 Article
How could I confirm that through buses had been allowed to compete with the railways? Rosebud, Birkdale???
It worked.(Birkdale was the name that Whitaker's busline used for the suburb we now call Tootgarook because of Birkdale guest house on the east corner of Carmichael St.) This seemed to indicate that Whitaker's through service started in 1937 but out of curiosity I switched to the 1920's and found these two advertisements under MOTOR SERVICES TO EVERYWHERE.
DROMANA, SORRENTO, AND PORTSEA.
Return Fares, Sorrento, 17/3 1st Class, 16/, 2nd Class, Return Fares, Dromana, 12/3 1st class,11/ 2nd class. Book Govt. Tourist Bureau or Flinders st. station.
DROMANA, Rosebud-Whitaker's service leaves Batman av., 9:30 a.m., 5 p.m. Book Pioneer 15 Queen's Walk. C. 5224.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Saturday 9 November 1929 p 34 Advertising)
The first involved a combined rail/bus ticket but the numerous private bus operators such as Whitaker of Rosebud must have sensed that they would not be prosecuted.
"Fred Whitaker Senior established his garage in Dromana in the early 1920's and ran a bus to Rosebud.Later his sons amalgamated with Johnson and Metcher to form Portsea Passenger Service......Spencer Jackson organised a deputation of 200 to the Minister of Transport with the result that buses were permitted to run to Melbourne until W.W.11 necessitated economies.*" (*Petrol rationing.) P.53, A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.
on 2015-02-10 05:37:14
Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.