HC Deb 19 July 1900 vol 86 cc476-7

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—1. Have any representations been made to him about the state of the law in Ireland in relation to the use of traction engines on public roads. 2. Is he aware that owing to the use of such engines on the coast road between Glen-arm and Lame the road authority finds the cost of maintenance so materially increased as to be a source of embarrassment, while no power exists by which they can oblige the owners of the engines to contribute to the cost of repairs to the road. 3. Is he aware that the County Antrim Grand Jury passed resolutions calling upon the Government to assimilate the law in Ireland to that of England in regard to the passage of traction engines along public roads, complaining at the same time that the owners of these engines carry on their traffic under most illegal conditions 4. And will he introduce a clause into his Bill to amend the Local Government (Ireland) Act, placing the law in Ireland upon the same footing with the law in England.


Representations have been made to me of the character mentioned in the first paragraph. The average expenditure on the coast road between Glenarm and Larne has been increased about 30 per cent. within recent years; I am unable to say whether this increased expenditure has resulted in any embarrassment as alleged, but, if so, the case would appear to be one in which an application for an extension of the limit under Section 27, Subsection 2, of the Local Government Act, 1898, would probably be entertained by the Local Government Board. The answer to the third paragraph is in the affirmative. The Amendment suggested in the last paragraph would not be covered by the title of the Bill now before the House. Under Section 23 of the. Highways and Locomotives Act, 1878, as amended by Section 12 of the Locomotives Act, 1898, damages can be recovered by the local authority in England in respect of excessive wear on highways by reason of extraordinary traffic. These enactments do not, however, apply to Ireland, but I will consider the question of assimilating the law in this respect in the two countries with a view to possible legislation in a future session.