HC Deb 08 September 1887 vol 320 cc1640-1
MR. H. GARDNER (Essex, Saffron Walden)

asked the Secretary to the Board of Trade, Whether the Board of Trade has any authority over the Railway Companies in the matter of level crossings; and, if so, whether, in view of the large proportion of fatal accidents connected with railways occurring at level crossings, he will take such steps as are needful to secure the safety of railway servants and the public at these dangerous places?

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

Special powers are, in some cases, conferred upon the Board of Trade by the Private Acts of Parliament authorizing the construction of railways. Powers are also conferred on the Board of Trade by the Railway Clauses Act, 1863, Section 7, to direct a Company to carry the turnpike road or public carriage road either under or over the railway by means of a bridge or arch, instead of crossing the same on the level. This provision only affects level crossings authorized since 1863, and confers no powers with regard to foot-path crossings.


asked, whether the hon. Gentleman was aware that a great proportion of railway accidents occurred on level crossings; and whether he did not think that the Board of Trade should apply for further powers in the matter?


I am aware that a great many accidents have happened lately at level crossings, and the attention of the Railway Companies has been directed by the Board of Trade to the danger that exists. Further than that, in the present state of the law, the power of the Board does not go.