HC Deb 26 July 1883 vol 282 cc544-5

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether his attention has been called to an accident which happened, on the 23rd of July, to an excursion party near Owlen Bar, in North Derbyshire, owing to the horses in a waggonette taking fright at a traction engine; and, whether, in view of the frequent occurrence of these accidents, he will undertake, at the earliest possible opportunity, to issue such regulations with regard to traction engines as the public safety requires?


Sir, my attention has been called to this accident. The Acts relating to the use of locomotives on roads do not authorize the Board to issue any regulations with regard to traction engines. These engines are subject to rules embodied in various statutory provisions, and also in bye-laws, which the county authority and other local authorities may make under Section 31 of the Highways and Locomotives (Amendment) Act,1878. The statutory Rules are briefly as follows:— 1. Three persons must be employed to drive a locomotive. If more than two carriages are attached an additional person must be employed to take charge of them. 2. One of these persons, while the locomotive is in motion, must precede it on foot by at least 20 yards, and must 'in case of need assist horses and carriages drawn by horses passing the same.' 3. The drivers are to give as much space as possible for the passing of other traffic. 4. The whistle is not to be sounded. The cylinder taps must not be opened within sight of persons in charge of horses. No steam must be allowed to blow off on the road. 5. 'The locomotive must be instantly stopped on the person preceding it or any other person with a horse or carriage putting up his hand. 6. Two efficient lights must be provided, to be affixed conspicuously, one at each side on the front, between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise. (28 & 29 Vict., c. 83, s. 3, and 41 & 42 Vict., c. s. 29.) Further, locomotives must not be driven along turnpike roads or highways at a greater speed than four miles an hour, or through any city, town, or village at a greater speed than two miles an hour. (28 & 29 Vict., c. 83, s. 4.) Rules supplementary to those contained in the Statutes may be included in bye-laws for the regulation of locomotives on highways, and the Derby county authority have made such bye-laws. These have been confirmed by the Board, and contain provisions restricting the passing of locomotives during certain hours, prohibiting their use upon certain bridges, and requiring one person to remain in charge of a locomotive on a highway while its fire continues alight.