HC Deb 25 March 1929 vol 226 cc2066-8
65. Captain CROOKSHANK

asked the Minister of Transport what steps, if any, he has taken to inform the general public of the Regulation that cars may not be left with doors locked at official parking places?

Colonel ASHLEY

This Regulation was made on the advice of the London Traffic Advisory Committee. Notice of my intention to make it was given in the "London Gazette" on the 29th August, 1927, and the Notice included the statement that copies of the Draft Regulations could be obtained from H.M. Stationery Office. On the 30th August a Press notice was issued giving wide publicity to the fact that the proposed new Draft Regulations were available, and stating that any representations in regard to them should be submitted within 40 days from that dace. The Regulations were actually made on the 24th January, 1928, when a further Notice was issued to the Press, and copies of the Regulations were laid in both Houses of Parliament for 28 days and were available in the Libraries of the two Houses. Further, there is a Notice conspicuously displayed at every authorised parking place to the effect that its use is permitted by and is subject to the provisions of the London Traffic (Parking Places) Regulations, 1928, copies of which may be obtained directly from H.M. Stationery Office, or through any bookseller, price 6d., and also indicates that there is a penalty for breach of the Regulations of £5.


Is not my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that, as a matter of fact, the Regulation to which he is referring does not mention the locking of doors at all, and when he approved of it did he expect that that interpretation would be put upon it?

Colonel ASHLEY

Yes, certainly it was included in the original Regulations.


Does not my right hon. and gallant Friend realise that the only people who benefit from this Regulation are the sneak thieves?


Has the right hon. and gallant Gentleman considered the point of giving instructions to the attendants or messengers who are in charge of these ranks to inform car owners that this Regulation is in force?

Colonel ASHLEY

There is a notice on all parking places.


Does my right hon. and gallant Friend consider that anyone having seen that notice is going to the Stationery Office to pay 6d. in order to get a book of Regulations to find out what he should do?


In view of this latest example of the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee's activities, are any steps being taken to protect the property of those who leave their cars in parking places?


Has the right hon. and gallant Gentleman given consideration to the number of cases where doctors have had dangerous drugs and that sort of thing stolen from their cars?

Colonel ASHLEY

It is a matter really more for the police than for myself. The police are very anxious that these Regulations should be maintained, but I am perfectly prepared to confer with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to see if some modification can be made.


Does it now become a punishable offence to leave your car locked, and what protection is to offered to the public by way of compensation?

Colonel ASHLEY

The hon. Gentleman must remember that parking on the public highway is an indulgence and that local authorities, having spent large sums of money in widening the streets, now consider that these should be used more for traffic than for parking places. As I have said, I will confer with my right hon. Friend and see what can be done.


Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman consider that anyone who can afford to own a motor car should help the unemployed by keeping a, chauffeur?

66. Captain CROOKSHANK

asked the Minister of Transport how many prosecutions have taken place under Statutory Rules and Orders, No. 27, 1928, against persons who have left their motor cars at parking places with the doors locked?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir William Joynson-Hicks)

I have been asked to reply. Since 31st January, 192S, when the Regulations came into force, the number is three.


Does not that show that the Regulations are rather bureaucratic and unnecessary?


My duty is merely to enforce them. I must refer my hon. and gallant Friend to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport. I am going to consult with my right hon. and gallant Friend.


As the right hon. Gentleman is going to consult his right hon. Friend, perhaps both right hon. Gentlemen will take that fact into account?

68. Captain CROOKSHANK

asked the Minister of Transport if he has any information of towns, other than London, where it is illegal to have a motor car with its doors locked at a public parking place; and, if so, what are those towns?

Colonel ASHLEY

Outside the London Traffic Area I have no jurisdiction with respect to parking places. Under the provisions of the Public Health Act, 1925, and of a few local Acts, local authorities have power to make their own regulations for the control of parking places. These regulations did not require the approval of any Government Department. I am not, therefore, in possession of the information desired by my hon. Friend.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the Highlands people leave the doors of their houses unlocked?