HL Deb 08 June 1888 vol 326 cc1500-1

asked, Whether it was not the case that the owner of the road from Barnes Common to the Roehampton Gate of Richmond Park had offered to make a present of that road to the public; and whether her Majesty's Ministers did not consider that the offer should be accepted, and thus a much nearer entrance be afforded from London to Richmond Park?


said, that he could not add anything to the answer which was given by the First Commissioner of Works on this subject on the 19th of March in the House of Commons. Perhaps he might be allowed to read part of that answer. The First Commissioner said— No Vote has ever been taken in Parliament for the purchase of Clarence Lanes. In 1869 the Treasury authorized negotiations for their purchase at the price of £2,000; but the negotiations came to nothing, as the then proprietor held out for a larger sum. In 1874 the matter again came up; and the office of Works asked the Treasury whether they were still willing to propose that Parliament should contribute £2,000 towards freeing the roads, as there was a movement among residents in the neighbourhood to raise by subscription the balance of the sum demanded by the proprietor (£2,500); but that suggestion was not adopted."—(3 Hansard, [323] 1636–7.) It was true that the road had been offered as a gift to the Office of Works. That Department had refused the offer, because the Treasury would not undertake the expense of maintaining the road. The cost of maintaining it would be about £100 a-year, but £200 would be required to put the road in order. It would not be possible to save that amount out of the sum allowed by Parliament for the maintenance of the roads in Richmond Park, particularly as this year the Estimate for the maintenance of the Park had been considerably cut down. The Government were not, as he had said, willing to undertake the maintenance of these roads; but if the roads were otherwise made available, they were prepared to maintain and keep a gatekeeper to look after the road and see that it was properly protected.