HC Deb 05 June 1894 vol 25 cc400-1

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the platforms at stations on the St. John's Wood Branch of the Metropolitan Railway are so constructed that there is a considerable open space between them and the continuous footboard of the railway carriages; and that at Baker Street Station especially the said open space amounts at some places to as much as from eight to ten inches wide at the curved parts of the platform; and whether steps will be taken to require the Railway Company to so construct the platforms of their stations as to obviate the existing great danger to passengers?


No, Sir; the Board are not aware that such is the fact at the stations generally: but as regards Baker Street Station, the Board of Trade are informed by the Company that the figures mentioned in the question go beyond the fact, as the only instance where the space exceeds eight inches is at one side of No 1 platform, where the maximum space is nine and a half inches for a short distance, and tapers down to four and a half inches. On No. 2 platform the maximum is seven inches, tapering down to two and a half inches; and on No. 3 the maximum is four and a half inches, tapering down to one and a half inches. The Board are advised that as the station has been constructed on a curve this cannot be remedied. The Company say that they do all they can to obviate the possibility of mishap by whitening the edges of the platform. An Inspecting Officer of the Board of Trade made some suggestion for alteration in 1892, and the gaps were reduced as far as practicable.


Is it not a fact that Mr. Theobald, a late Member of this House, was killed in consequence of so much space being left between the carriages and platforms? Will the right hon. Gentleman inquire if something further cannot be done?


It is a difficult question, and is continually engaging the attention of the Board of Trade. The alternative seems to be having no platform at all, as on the Continent, and that is open to many other objections.


Might not the platforms be constructed to come under the footboards of the carriages?