§ 23. Mr. Wingfield Digby
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will introduce legislation allowing police expenditure incurred 1746 in the control of vehicles carrying abnormally large loads along highways to be charged to the owners of the loads instead of half to the taxpayer and half to the ratepayer.
§ Mr. Renton
No, Sir. This is part of the general duty of the police in regulating traffic on the public highway, and is of benefit to other road users.
§ Mr. Digby
Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that there is considerable feeling on both sides of the House, I think, that it is wrong in the national interest to discriminate in favour of the roads against the railways, and will he not look aft the matter again, since it appears to be an example of help being given to driving traffic on to the roads away from the railways?
§ Mr. Renton
There are many of these abnormal indivisible loads which could not go by railway. So far as those who use the roads for that purpose need the help of police escorts, the view has always been taken for many years that they should have the help of the police, and it is help which the police are obliged to give as part of their general duty to road users.