HC Deb 02 September 1887 vol 320 c900
MR. ADDISON (Ashton-under-Lyne)

asked the Secretary to the Board of Trade, Whether, having regard to recent outrages upon women in railway carriages, and to the fact that the attempt to afford protection by a system of communication with the guard has proved inadequate, he will consider the advisability of imposing upon Railway Companies the obligation of providing in every train exclusive accommodation for women travelling alone, as is done in many parts of the Continent?

THE SECRETARY (Baron HENRY DE WORMS) (Liverpool, East Toxteth)

the Board of Trade fully recognize the importance of the question raised by my hon. and learned Friend. But, as I have often stated, the Department has no Statutory power to interfere, as the entire responsibility for all traffic arrangements rests with the Railway Companies. In view, however, of the large number of women who are daily compelled to travel alone, and of the risks to which they are exposed, as evidenced by the recent case and other similar cases, a Circular has been sent to all the Railway Companies, calling their attention to the desirability of providing in every train, for all classes, accommodation for women travelling alone. I have to-day laid a copy of that Circular on the Table of the House, and will, when the replies are received, present them. I may add that I have every belief that the Companies will do all that lies in their power to provide for the safety and convenience of women travelling on their lines.