HC Deb 24 March 1836 vol 32 c583
Mr. Potter

rose to move a resolution declaratory that no railway or tramway whereon carriages are propelled by steam shall be made across any highway on the level, unless the Committee on the Bill report that such a restriction ought not to be enforced. If there was not some check to the present system of railroad-making the country would be dissected in every direction; and from the great velocity of steam carriages it was necessary to guard against sudden and unexpected accidents on the crossways. The railroads should either pass under or over the present highways. Frequent accidents occurred of persons having been overtaken while crossing the railroad. He had witnessed some. At present he would content himself with introducing his motion without entering into details.

Colonel Thompson

said, he wished to advance a principle which he believed to be nearly the same with that of the Member for Wigan. On asking an engineer at one of the Railway Committees the average expense of carrying a parish road over a railway by an arch, he had been told between 400l. and 5001.; now, calculating interest at four per cent, this was only equivalent to from 16l. to 20l. a-year; and it was strongly to be suspected that the expenses of properly looking after a cross-road on the level, could never be brought within this amount. It appeared to him, therefore, that it was for the general interest of the railways, as well as of the public safety, that they should be obliged in all cases to carry cross-roads over by an arch, unless where from particular circumstances a tunnel was preferable. It would have to be done in the end; and an arrangement once for all, now so many railways were in agitation, would save great trouble and expense, besides the loss of life and character.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

thought it would be more convenient if the resolution were referred for consideration to the Select Committee sitting on Railways. He would beg leave to move that it be referred.

Resolution referred accordingly.