The Road Act 1920
Have you ever driven down one of those forgotten country roads, lined with cracks and bumps and potholes? Could you imagine a time when it was just mud and loose shale?
In 1919 it was evident that reform was needed in the U.K and roads were not fit for purpose. The Road Board, a group of local councillors for each constituency, was abolished and its functions transferred to the Ministry of Transport. The tax on petrol was eliminated, but higher rates of excise duty were introduced. The U.K was on the verge of creating a brand new transport system.
The Road Acts 1920 required Councils to register all vehicles at the time of licencing and to allocate a separate number to each vehicle. The number was to be displayed in the prescribed manner of one letter and one number “A-1” or two letters and four numbers “AB-1234” until they were exhausted.
Vehicle users were required to notify the local council when they had purchased a vehicle. There was also licensing provisions for manufacturers and traders and a general licence became the forerunner of the present trade plate system.
By the late 1920’s it became apparent that there were legal difficulties with the term “owner” and it was decided that the name and address of the person “keeping” the vehicle should appear on the logbook.