HC Deb 27 February 1936 vol 309 cc631-2
35. Lieut-Colonel MOORE-BRABAZON

asked the Home Secretary whether the tripods with blinking lights forbidding traffic temporarily in one direction in some roads in the Metropolis are placed in position after consultation with the Minister of Transport and, if not, on what grounds; whether these obstructions are, in future, to replace the methods of the Orders hitherto laid upon the. Table; and under what statutory power these obstructions are being used?


Flashing signs, permitting the display of certain words, have been specifically authorised by the Minister of Transport under Section 48 of the Road Traffic Act, 1930, for use in the Metropolitan Police District, and authority is being sought for the use of such signs displaying other words. The Commissioner of Police is empowered by Section 52 of the Metropolitan Police Act, 1839, to give directions to constables for keeping order and for preventing any obstruction in the thoroughfares in any case where the streets may be thronged or liable to be obstructed. In order to give effect to these directions, constables are normally posted at the points concerned, but where the arrangements are likely to last for more than a few days, as many constables as possible are withdrawn in order to save manpower, and flashing signs are exhibited for the purpose of giving the necessary directions. These temporary arrangements are not intended to take the place of Regulations made by the Minister of Transport under the London Traffic Act, 1924.


When the obstruction has been there for two or three days can we, according to the right hon. Gentleman's answer, ignore it?


No, Sir. I do not say that.


Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the fact that these blinking lights are used, sometimes, for the purpose of prohibiting traffic and sometimes merely to draw attention to the surrounding circumstances, and that therefore their use is not uniform?


I should like to have an illustration of what the hon. Gentleman has in mind.