HC Deb 21 May 1912 vol 38 cc1741-2

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (1) he has received representations from Metropolitan borough and other councils upon the subject of the continuous and systematic use of selected thoroughfares by the owners of heavy motor vehicles and the additional and heavy expenditure necessary for the upkeep of such routes, and urging that legislation is urgently needed to enable local road authorities to recover from such owners additional contributions to local expenses; and whether such representations have been considered; if so, with what result; (2) whether he has received representations from the Deptford Borough Council and other local authorities, with reference to motor omnibus traffic in London, urging that the proprietors of mechanically-propelled vehicles should be brought under contribution for the repair and upkeep of the roads over which they travel in the Metropolitan boroughs, and that the borough councils should have a veto on the use by such vehicles of roads which, in their opinion, are unsafe or otherwise unsuitable for such traffic; whether consideration has been given to such representations; if so, will he state the result; and (3) whether he has received representations from the Deptford Borough Council and from a conference of Metropolitan borough councils, suggesting that the Chief Commissioner of Police or the Home Office should prescribe remedial measures of a compulsory nature to compel the proprietors of motor omnibuses to provide proper and efficient mudguards for the protection of ratepayers' properties on the various lines of route in the Metropolis for reasons stated in such resolutions; whether consideration has been given to those representations; and, if so, can he state the result?


I have received and considered the various representations referred to. The question of additional taxation of mechanically propelled vehicles for maintenance of the roads is one for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider. As regards the proposed power of veto, the Local Government Board already have power, under Section 8 of the Motor Car Act, 1903, to prohibit motor-car traffic or roads which are very narrow, or where such traffic would be specially dangerous; but there are strong reasons against giving local authorities a special veto on the use of particular roads by motor omnibuses. These omnibuses provide facilities for locomotion which are a boon to the great majority of Londoners. I am afraid that I can add nothing to the replies given by my predecessor and myself to numerous questions on the subject of mudguards for motor omnibuses.