§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
said, he wished to ask the First Commissioner of Works, Whether he has inquired as to the traffic 495 on Westminster Bridge, and will state the reason why the Police do not interfere in the regulation of the traffic, so as to divide the heavy from the fast traffic, there being Tramways laid down on the Bridge, which must tend to facilitate regulations which have had the best results on London Bridge?
§ SIR JOSEPH PAXTON
said, he wished to know whether there would be any objection to lake up the Tramways, seeing that they only obstructed the traffic over the Bridge?
said, in reply, that the tramways were intended to separate the slow and heavy traffic from the fast and light traffic. He differed from his hon. Friend (Sir Joseph Paxton) in regard to the alleged inconvenience of the tramways. It was the interest of the drivers of the slow and heavy traffic to go on the tramway, because the draught was easier for the horses. It was obviously for the interest of the drivers of slow and quick vehicles to accommodate themselves to the arrangement, and he believed they generally did so. Two policemen were usually stationed on the bridge, and they reported that no obstruction of a serious character had taken place, so as to justify their interference. The police had no legal authority to compel reluctant persons to go along the tramway except on account of obstruction. They could point out that it was for the general convenience that the light and heavy traffic should be kept separate, and he had no reason to believe they had failed in their duty in that respect.
§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
Will the right hon. Gentleman make inquiries as to the traffic regulations of London Bridge, and see whether the same regulations cannot be adopted at Westminster Bridge?
said, that there was no tramway on London Bridge. The rule there was that the light and heavy traffic going in the same direction should take a particular side of the bridge. If that direction were not strictly observed an obstruction would arise. The police had authority to interfere the moment an obstruction occurred or when they had reason to apprehend that an obstruction would arise. There had been no such obstruction hitherto on Westminster Bridge as would justify any exercise of authority on the part of the police.
§ LORD JOHN MANNERS
said, he would suggest that if the police had no legal 496 power at present to regulate the traffic the right hon. Gentleman would do well to confer with the Secretary of State for the Home Department, and see if some means could not be devised to give them that most necessary authority.