§ 23. Dr. MORRIS-JONES (for Mr. LLEWELLYN-JONES)
asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the inconvenience and danger to the public owing to the erection of telegraph and telephone poles at the side of narrow roads; and whether he will consider the desirability of taking steps to ensure that all telegraph and telephone wires shall be laid underground or that the poles should be fixed on the land adjoining the road?
§ Mr. LEES-SMITH
Representations have been made from time to time regarding danger from telegraph poles on public roads. Special care is taken when poles are erected to select positions involving no danger to the public; and when this condition cannot be met steps are taken with a view to securing sites on adjoining land. Sometimes poles become dangerous as a result of the cutting back of the grass verge in which they stand, and it is the practice in such cases to set the poles back. A larger proportion of the telegraph and telephone wires are already placed underground in this country than in any other, but financial considerations render it impracticable to dispense with all overhead plant, and I cannot forgo the right to place poles in roads where suitable sites can be found.
§ Dr. MORRIS-JONES
Will the Postmaster-General say if he has received representations from a large number of rural authorities in Wales stating that the roads there are especially narrow, and that, as a consequence, there is great danger through the use of these poles; and will he take steps to meet that situation?
§ Mr. LEES-SMITH
I have had representations from not a large number but from two or three authorities, and in North Wales special steps of a certain character have been taken.
§ Colonel HOWARD-BURY
Could not the right hon. Gentleman do away with the posts on the main roads, and have all these telegraph and telephone lines put underground?