HC Deb 19 May 1896 vol 40 cc1676-7
MR. A. K. LOYD (Berks, Abingdon)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, whether the Faringdon Rural District Council has recently laid before the Department a large body of evidence from persons engaged in business in and around Faringdon, complaining of being compelled to diverge, in some cases, nearly two miles to avoid the delays and danger caused by the Great Western Railway Company by shunting and leaving trucks standing across the high road at Uffington Station; whether such evidence further shows that school children, being unable to make this divergence, have been seen to crawl between the wheels of such trucks in order to get to and from school; whether, having been already informed by the Company that the sidings condemned by the Board of Trade were replaced without knowledge of the previous objection, he will press for a more satisfactory answer as to when and by whose authority they were so replaced than the denial of all knowledge with which the Company have now met his further inquiries into this transaction; and, whether the Company have now made any offer to remove or remedy their obstruction, except on the terms of the local authority bearing part of the cost by a contribution which would be beyond their power, and which the Board of Trade Inspector reported on 11th August 1894, they ought not to be asked to make?


Yes, Sir, my right hon. Friend has seen the evidence referred to. The Company in reply to a further communication from the Department, state that "after repeated searches" they are "not in a position to explain the circumstances under which the sidings were placed over the crossing.'' They add that they have taken steps to repeat the instructions to the staff at the station not to allow any obstruction by shunting. The Company have not enlarged their offer, namely, to defray the cost of the works on their own land if the Local Authorities will bear the expense incurred outside the Company's property. The hon. Member must bear in mind that the Board of Trade have no power to compel the Company to abolish this crossing. The Directors have shown no disposition to act otherwise than in a conciliatory spirit, and my right hon. Friend will use his best endeavours to bring about an amicable settlement.