HC Deb 24 June 1903 vol 124 cc376-7
MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)

To ask the President of the Board of Trade will he say what are the present regulations restricting the use of high voltage currents carried on bare wires over or on public roads; and whether, seeing that currents of 10,000 to 40,000 volts are carried by overhead bare wires on the Continent and in America to the advantage of the industrial community, he will consider whether a pressure of 10,000 volts could now be permitted, provided that efficient cradles or guards of a type approved by him be employed to protect such wires; whether he has any information showing that high tension bare wires carrying high voltage current have ever caused any injury or loss of life to the public in America and on the Continent when used only for transmitting power to sub-stations; and that the dangers to the public, if any, are not greater where bare wins transmit current direct to tram motors than in the case where the line is never in contact with a moving collector.

(Answered by Mr. Bonar Law.) The Board of Trade have not yet made any regulations relating to the transmission of electricity at high voltage by bare overhead wires. I have no information as to injury or loss of life to the public caused by bare wires carrying high voltage supply in America or on the Continent, or as to the relative dangers to the public from wires used for tramways (where constructed under Board of Trade regulations) and from those used for other purposes. Two schemes have recently been submitted and are now before the Board's electrical adviser, who has been instructed that the promoters may proceed with their works step by step under his supervision. The Board propose to give their best consideration to applications for the use of high voltage, dealing with each case on its merits.