HC Deb 14 February 1862 vol 165 cc272-3

said, he wished to ask the First Commissioner of Works what steps Government propose to take for rendering the International Exhibition more accessible; and whether any of them will require the approval of Parliament?


said, that he was afraid the approaches to the Exhibition were not likely to be altogether satisfactory. The approaches to the Exhibition from the east, south, and the west, would be through streets, some portions of which were not adequate for the ordinary traffic in summer, and he was afraid much inconvenience from the narrowness of those streets would be experienced by the multitudes who would throng to the Exhibition. He alluded particularly to the Brompton Road, the Kensington Road, and that very narrow portion of Park Lane, near its junction with Piccadilly. But it did not appear that the inconvenience was likely to be so great as to demand any special interference on the part of the Government. The widening of streets seemed rather to "be a matter of parochial and municipal management, and he was not prepared to state that the Government had any intentions with regard to those streets. With respect to the northern approach to the Exhibition, there was this peculiarity, that there was, properly speaking, no northern approach at all. Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens imposed a barrier of two miles in extent to the approach of carriages from the north to the Exhibition. Every vehicle proceeding to Kensington Gore from the north must pass through Park Lane on the east, or Church Lane, Kensington, on the west. The attention of the Government had naturally been directed to this subject, and, on behalf of the Crown, he would not oppose any remedy for this inconvenience that would not interfere with the recreation and enjoyment of the Park, which were the primary objects to which that royal domain had been devoted by the Sovereign. The fund most applicable to the purpose was the surplus that had accumulated in past years from the coal duties, and was intended by Act of Parliament to be devoted to metropolitan improvements, and he should shortly bring in a Bill appropriating a portion of this surplus from the coal duties to make that northern approach which appeared an urgent want.