HC Deb 26 February 1885 vol 294 cc1412-3

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If only four out of the one hundred and two miles of tramway and light railways projected and brought before the Grand Jury of the county of Donegal have been passed by the Privy Council; if the result is similar in the other districts of the West of Ireland, to benefit which the Tramways and Light Railways Act was chiefly passed; and, if the Act, being thus practically useless, will the Government undertake its early amendment?


I am not aware of the exact mileage of the tramways and light railways that have been projected in County Donegal under the Tramways Act of 1883; but it appears that three schemes, covering in all 33 miles, came before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council from that county, and that only one of these, a line of four miles in length, passed the Committee. Of the other two, one was rejected because the estimate was considered unsatisfactory; and the other because it was proposed to tax an area that could not benefit by the line. I find that in the four counties of Galway, Sligo, Clare, and Kerry, schemes for 239 miles came before the Privy Council, and 99 miles were passed. It cannot be said, when over 100 miles have been approved in the counties I have named, that the Act has proved "practically useless." Some of the schemes that have been rejected will again be brought forward, and perhaps, with experience, the difficulties will be overcome. The matter is one of great importance; and the Government will carefully watch the operation of the Act, both in the working of schemes already passed, and with reference to new proposals.