HC Deb 18 February 1842 vol 60 cc640-1
Mr. P.Borthwick

wished to put a question, involving a matter of much importance to the inhabitants of the vicinity of the metropolis, to the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Home Department. It related to the lighting of the approaches to London. Up to a very recent period these approaches had been lighted by means of money collected as tolls. But the present winter, in consequence of the increase of communication by railway, the tolls had so much decreased, that the trustees of the roads could no longer light those roads, and had, in fact, refused to light them. The parishes also had declined to light the roads. The consequence was, that persons passing to and from the metropolis by night were exposed to much danger. He wished then to ask the right hon. Gentleman, had he any measure in contemplation for the purpose of securing the safety of persons travelling by these roads, by compelling the parishes, or some other authorities, to light them?

Sir James Graham

said, that the various parishes had power by law to make rates for the lighting of the roads, if they should think fit to do so, but the executive had no power to compel them to do so. He had been applied to by some of the inhabitants of the parish of Kensington on the subject, and he had recommended that a vestry-meeting of the rate-payers should be called, and that the propriety of levying a rate for the purpose of lighting the roads should be submitted to them. The vestry meeting was called, and he regretted to say, that a large majority decided against levying any rate for that purpose. It was a question entirely for the decision of the rate-payers of the different parishes, and the executive had no power whatever to interfere in a matter of local taxation for such a purpose.