HC Deb 05 February 1929 vol 224 cc1585-7
41. Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has taken or contemplates any action in connection with the question of slippery roads in the interest both of motor traffic and of horses?

Colonel ASHLEY

So long ago as June, 1925, a letter was issued from my Department to all county surveyors on the subject of slippery roads, recommending appropriate remedial measures. More recently, with the assistance of the County Surveyors' Society, the Asphalt Roads Association and other technical bodies, specifications for various types of road construction have been drawn up, embodying what my officers consider to be the most approved methods that can be adopted in order to combine sound construction with adequate foothold. These specifications have now been published by the British Engineering Standards Association, and I am proposing to issue a circular to all local authorities drawing their attention to the need for the general application of these improved methods. At the same time, I am circulating recommendations as to the best means to be adopted for the treatment of existing road surfaces.


Cannot the interests of pedestrians as well as motorists be considered?

Colonel ASHLEY

We are doing what we can to provide footpaths.

Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

Has the Minister also considered including in his recommendations in regard to horse traffic the use of pads on the hoofs of horses?

Colonel ASHLEY

No, Sir; these are the recommendations resulting from a very comprehensive conference, and I do not think I can go outside them.


Arising out of that statement with regard to slippery roads, I would like to ask the Minister of Transport if it has ever dawned on him to deal with slippery Chancellors of the Exchequer?

42. Sir B. PETO

asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been called to the action brought by Major Coldwell against the Somerset County Council and the Chard Rural District Council for damages for injuries sustained by Mrs. Coldwell owing to her horse falling on the slippery surface of the road; and whether, in view of the fact that the jury could not agree and no decision was arrived at and no judgment could be given, and the frequency of accidents of this nature to horses and other animals owned by farmers, he will make it a condition of a grant of assistance towards the making and maintenance of roads that local authorities should maintain the surface or a portion of the surface of all roads in such a condition that they can be safely used by animals?

Colonel ASHLEY

I am aware of these legal proceedings and I fully share my hon. Friend's desire that due provision should be made on highways for horses and cattle. So long ago as June, 1925, a letter was issued from my Department to all county surveyors on this subject. As to the steps now in contemplation, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave to the last question.


As it is so long ago that the right hon. Gentleman sent this notice to the local authority and no action has been taken, is it not axiomatic that all persons required to support public services through the rates have an equal right to enjoy those services, and upon what principle can support be given to local authorities to arrange their roads in such a manner that one class of traffic is impossible upon them?

Colonel ASHLEY

I am sending out this week a circular on this subject.


Will the Minister of Transport consider the importance of having pathways of such a character that people can walk upon them instead of being forced to walk in the roadway?

Colonel ASHLEY

I will consider that point.


Does the right hon. Gentleman not realise that the de-rating Bill contains a mathematical formula, and has he tried to apply that formula in this case.