HC Deb 11 June 1847 vol 93 c382

begged leave to refer to a statement that had been made respecting the insecurity of railway bridges of a wide span, and the inattention of the department of which the Earl of Dalhousie was the head, to the representations of Mr. Locke and other engineers on the subject. The statement had been occasioned by the late unfortunate accident with the bridge over the river Dee. He had made inquiries into the subject, and found that, on the 30th April last year, a letter was addressed to the Earl of Dalhousie by Mr. Locke and some other eminent engineers, respecting the dimensions of bridges crossing turnpike roads, that there should he 35 feet clear space for the road, head room of 16 feet, and side walls of 12 feet, &c, which dimensions had been fixed after full consideration in the Railway Clauses Consolidation Bill. The letter had no reference to railway bridges over rivers, which sometimes were of extraordinary dimensions. Another statement had been, that no answer had been returned to the letter of Mr. Locke and the other engineers. The fact was, that the letter of the 30th April arrived on the 2nd May, and was answered on the 23rd May, that Lord Dalhousie would consult the Earl of Shaftesbury on the propriety of reducing the width of bridges. The House would see, therefore, that nothing that had passed between the engineers and the Railway Department of the Board of Trade at all affected the question of the safety of bridges over rivers.


said, that he had merely referred to the evidence taken before the coroner's jury. There was some mistake; but Mr. Locke was not a person to complain that he had had no answer when one had been sent to him.

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