HC Deb 13 July 1871 vol 207 c1629

In answer to Mr. WHATMAN,


said: The Post Office has completed a new line of telegraph along the high roads between London and Beachy Head, which line carries at present six wires from London to Beachy Head, eight from London as far as Polegate, ten as far as Tunbridge, and eleven as far as Sevenoaks, space being left spare on the poles for additional wires as occasion may hereafter require. The cost of such a telegraph along the roads as compared with the cost of putting it on the railway is not one-third greater. By adopting the high road for the Beachy Head line 22 miles of new line have been saved, and in parts the construction of this one line has been made to serve the purpose of two lines. It is estimated that, in maintenance and way-leave together, a saving of £638 per annum has been effected in carrying the Beachy Head line along the high roads in preference to the railway. The Post Office has not recently completed a now line of over-ground telegraph along the high roads between Liverpool and Manchester, nor has it any intention of constructing such a line. All that has been done is to replace a circuitous and defective line viâ the canal between Liverpool and Wigan by a direct road line 17 miles shorter. The Post Office is at present engaged in laying down an underground telegraph along the high roads between those two places. It is not the fact that underground telegraphs are acknowledged to be ineligible. Many years have elapsed since an underground line of any considerable length has been taken up and replaced by over-ground telegraphs, and the improvements which have since been effected in the processes of manufacturing and laying underground wires warrant, in the opinion of the engineer of the department, the expectation that the Manchester and Liverpool underground line may be permanently maintained—an expectation which is borne out by the experience gained of the durability of underground work in London and large provincial towns.