Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/47

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27
Shopkeepers and Omnibuses

streets was liable to a penalty of not less than £5. All the conductors were fined, but public opinion was by no means favourable to the shopkeepers, and further attempts to prove that private carriages had a greater right to the public streets than omnibuses failed completely. On one occasion an alderman had before him a hundred and twenty conductors charged with fearful offence—in tradesmen's eyes—of stopping their omnibuses a few moments in front of a shop when a carriage was waiting to pull up there. The alderman discharged every one of the defendants, and his action was so popular that, until a year or two ago, no one had the impudence to suggest that the days of class legislation should be restored—that omnibuses which carry twenty-six passengers should be turned out of the main street to make room for private carriages with their burden of four.

On January 7, 1832, a new Stage-Coach Act came into force. It had been passed specially to permit omnibuses and short-stage-coaches to take up and set down passengers in the streets.