HC Deb 30 July 1896 vol 43 cc1116-20

(1.) The enactments mentioned in the schedule to this Act. and my other enactment restricting the use of locomotives on highways and contained in any public general, or local and personal Act in force at the passing of this Act, shall not apply to any vehicle propelled by mechanical power, if it is under three tons in weight unladen, and is not used for the purpose of drawing more than one vehicle (such vehicle with its locomotive not to exceed in weight unladen four tons), and is so constructed that no smoke or visible vapour is emitted there from except from any temporary or accidental cause; and vehicles so exempted, whether locomotives or drawn by locomotives, are in this Act referred to as light locomotives.

Provided that:— (a.) A county authority shall have power to make byelaws preventing or restricting the use of such locomotives upon any bridge where such authority are satisfied that such use would be attended with damage to the public, subject to an appeal to the Local Government Board by any person aggrieved by the exercise of the power. (b.) A light locomotive shall be deemed to be a carriage within the meaning of any Act of Parliament, whether public general or local, and of any rule, regulation, or byelaw made under any Act of Parliament, and, if used as a carriage of any particular class, shall be deemed to he a carriage of that class, and the law relating to carriages of that class shall apply accordingly.

(2.) In calculating for the purposes of this Act the weight of a vehicle unladen, the weight of any water, fuel, or accumulators used for the purpose of propulsion shall not be included.

*MR. LUTTRELL moved in Subsection (1) to leave out "three tons" and to insert "four tons." He thought three tons was too light a maximum. If the locomotive was throe tons the vehicle could only be one ton, for locomotive and vehicle together could only be four tons. The omnibuses running in London were from 28 to 30 cwt. weight, or about a ton and a half. Therefore they were proposing that the vehicles to be drawn by locomotives should be of a lesser weight than the omnibuses drawn by one or two horses.


said that this question had given much trouble. When the Bill was originally introduced in another place, the weight allowed was tons unladen. That was changed to 4 tons, but traction was introduced. In the House of Commons Standing Committee everyone but the hon. Member thought that 4 tons was too much, and "3 tons" was inserted as a compromise, another ton being allowed for the weight of the waggon drawn. The Committee would see that the weight of water, fuel and accumulators was not to be included.

Amendment negatived.

*MR. LUTTRELL moved in Sub-section (1) to leave out the words "or visible vapour." He thought it unreasonable to forbid these motor cars to emit visible vapour, when men and horses alike did so. There was ample provision against the emitting of smoke.


said that the Standing Committee arrived at a practically unanimous decision on this point. The experts who had been consulted said that it was possible to construct the motor cars so that no visible vapour would be emitted: and as vapour might be annoyance it was best to require that the cars should be so constructed.


hoped that the Government would stand by their words. His hon. Friend wished to make these cars twice too heavy, to let them go too fast, and to encourage them to pump out steam.

Amendment negatived.

MR. CHAPLIN moved in paragraph (a) Sub-section (1) to leave out the words "A county authority," and to insert the words "The council of any county or county borough as the body having power to restrict the use of locomotives on bridges."

Amendment agreed to.

MR. CHAPLIN moved, in Paragraph (a) Sub-section (1), after the word "bridge" to insert the words "within their area."

Amendment agreed to.

MR. CHAPLIN moved, in Paragraph (a) Sub-section (1), to leave out the word "damage," and to insert instead thereof the word "danger," the former word being a misprint.


thought "damage" a very important word, because damage to a bridge might mean that the bridge was broken down. He suggested, therefore, that both words, should stand.

SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton)

hoped that they would adhere to the word "danger," otherwise the Sub-section would be unintelligible.


thought the right hon. Gentleman was right. The word "danger" included everything that was desirable or necessary.


said the way he would like it put was "the damage to the bridge, or danger to the public."

MR. JASPER TULLY (Leitrim, S.)

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman would include some "extraordinary traffic" clause to apply to Ireland.


said that in the Amendment that would be moved later it was proposed to legislate on this very point. The County Authority in Ireland shall mean the Grand Jury.


thought that the retention of the word "damage" would be extremely useful, because serious damage might be done to a bridge, and no notice taken of it. The clause should, therefore, read "damage to the bridge or danger to the public."

Question, "That the word 'damage' stand part of the Rill." Agreed to.

SIR. J. DORINGTON moved, in Paragraph (b) Sub-section (1), after the word "damage" to insert the words "to the bridge or danger."

Amendment agreed to.

CAPTAIN BETHELL moved to leave out from paragraph (a) Sub-section (1) the words, subject to au appeal to the Local Government Board by any person aggrieved by the exercise of the power, and substituting words giving the County Authority the power of regulating the use of locomotives upon highways. He said it was an extraordinary circumstance after the trouble taken to bring together the best men in town and counties for the work of local councils that whenever they proposed to restrict the use of a locomotive on a bridge, because they were satisfied that there was likely to be damage to the bridge or danger to the public, an individual should be allowed to appeal to the Local Government Board. Even under the existing law the County Authority had complete control over existing locomotives on bridges. He wanted to give the County Councils and the Town Councils some power in connection with the regulation of locomotives on their highways, and he moved this Amendment in the interests of the Local Government Board.


said that as it seemed to be generally admitted that the Local Government Board had enough to do already, he was quite willing to omit the words which his hon. Friend proposed to leave out; but to the words which his hon. Friend proposed to insert he could not agree.

Amendment agreed to.

CAPTAIN BETHELL moved after the word "power," (struck out) to insert the words "or regulating their use upon highways."


pointed out that if the various County Authorities in the kingdom were permitted to make independent regulations it would be impossible to secure anything approaching to uniformity. The House should beat-in mind that these cars would very likely cross the boundaries of three counties in a single day. If the regulations of these counties differed in character, a car, an omnibus perhaps, might be brought to a standstill at some inconvenient moment. One county might sanction a certain width of wheel, and another county a different width. (Captain BETHELL: "No.") If the Amendment were agreed to this, traffic would be exposed to extraordinary difficulties. He resisted the Amendment on the ground that it was desirable to secure uniformity and prevent confusion.


urged that boroughs ought to be permitted to make their own regulations as to speed, and that counties ought to have the same power. Omnibus directors would soon learn the rules of different counties. Some little difficulty might at first be caused to tourists by varying regulations, but guide-books would soon be published supplying them with all necessary information.


hoped the Amendment would not be agreed to. The inconvenience caused by a diversity of regulations was proved in the Committee that had considered the subject of traction engines. It was there stated that an unfortunate man who had passed through several counties with his engine had been served with six separate summonses for infringements of varying regulations. Being accustomed to coercion as an Irishman, this evidence had made him feel as if he were at home. [Laughter.]

Amendment negatived.

Clause 3,—