HC Deb 27 June 1906 vol 159 cc931-2
MR. MYER (Lambeth, N.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the recent accident occasioned by an electric tramcar, while descending Highgate Hill, getting beyond the control of the driver, and by which three people lost their lives and many were seriously injured, and, considering the number of street accidents of daily occurrence occasioned by the ineffective brake power now employed on tramcars, he will institute an inquiry with the object of obtaining the opinions of the highest authorities on the subject, with a view to compelling the use on tramcars of the most instantaneous and efficient method of arresting the progress of a tramcar.

MR. J. HENDERSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)

I beg at the same time to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he can state with what brake the electric car, which caused the accident at High-gate on Saturday last, was fitted; and whether the cars to which similar accidents happened at Swindon and Huddersfield this year were fitted with the same brake; and, if so, what steps he intends to take to have efficient brakes fitted to all electric cars.


In the case of the Huddersfield and Swindon accidents of this year and also of the Highgate accident, I am informed that the cars were fitted, in addition to the ordinary hand-brake, with modern power-brakes, in compliance with the Board's regulations. Both the Swindon and Highgate accidents are now the subject of inquiries by officers of the Board of Trade, and until their reports are received I cannot say what lessons can be learnt from them in regard to brakes; but the question will certainly receive the most careful consideration on the part of the Board and their technical advisers.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that, according to expert evidence given in April last in reference to an accident in Gold-hawk road, an electric car travelling at four miles an hour could not be stopped under forty-five feet.


said he was not aware of that.

* MR. WATERLOW (Islington, N.)

asked if the right hon. Gentleman was aware that the magnetic brake with which this car was fitted became inoperative when the wheels of the vehicle skidded, as probably they did in this case, and caused the accident.


said no doubt that point would be inquired into.

MR. CAIRNS (Newcastle-on-Tyne)

asked whether the question of compulsory stopping places on steep gradients would be inquired into.

MR. SHACKLETON (Lancashire, Clitheroe)

asked whether any use on a steep incline was made of the rail brake—a brake acting on the rail—in which the weight of the car was brought to bear on the action.


said he would call attention to both these points.