HL Deb 19 May 1896 vol 40 cc1669-71

The enactments mentioned in the schedule to this Act, and any other enactment restricting the use of locomotives on highways, and contained in any public, general, or local and personal Act in force at the passing of this Act, shall not apply to any vehicle propelled by mechanical power, if it is under two tons in weight unladen, and is not used for the purpose of drawing any other vehicle, and is so constructed that no smoke or visible vapour is emitted therefrom, and vehicles so exempted are in this Act referred to as light locomotives.

Provided as follows:—

  1. (a.)Nothing in this section shall affect any power for the general regulation of traffic on highways, and a light locomotive is hereby declared to be a carriage within the meaning of the enactments relating to highways;
  2. 1670
  3. (b.) Section twenty-six of the Highways and Locomotives (Amendment) Act, 1878, and the enactments relating to hackney carriages and stage carriages respectively, shall apply to light locomotives as if they were drawn by animal power, and the said section twenty-six, as so applied, shall extend to London: and
  4. (c.) So much of section six of the Locomotives Amendment (Scotland) Act, 1878, and of section six of the Public Health (Ireland) Amendment Act, 1879, as gives power to regulate the use of locomotives shall apply to light locomotives.

*LORD HARRIS moved to leave out "two" tons, and to insert "four" tons. He remarked that the President of the Local Government Board had agreed to this Amendment, in deference to representations that had been addressed to him.


agreed that the maximum weight of unladen vehicles should be raised, but he suggested that some limit should be placed on the load that the vehicle might carry, and that there should be flexibility in the Bill to encourage inventions for distributing the weight between two vehicles.


said, no doubt many improvements would be made in the development of these vehicles, and power should be given to make bye-laws, as to weight and width of wheel (subject, to the consent of the Local Government Board and the Secretary of State), to meet unexpected changes and inventions.


said, with regard to weight, the erection of a large number of weighing machines would be necessary all over the country, and obviously in London, and it would be ridiculous In expect carriages carrying persons to be weighed whenever a policeman or someone else demanded it. He did not think Lord Thring's suggestion was a practical one. His instructions were to adhere to the maximum weight of carriage unladen, and not to refer to the weight of a loaded carriage. The other points alluded to he would bring under the attention of Mr. Chaplin. But he would ask their Lordships to accept the Bill now, as he was not empowered by Mr. Chaplin to accept any suggestions at present for further Amendments in the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

*LORD HARRIS moved to omit all words after "Provided as follows," and to insert—

  1. (a.) Section twenty-six of the Highways and Locomotives Amendment Act, 1878, shall apply to light locomotives as if they were drawn by animal power, and as so applied shall extend to London;
  2. (b.) A light locomotive shall be deemed to be a carriage within the meaning of any Act of Parliament, whether public, general, or local, and of any regulation made under any Act of Parliament, and, if used as a carriage of any particular class, shall be deemed to be a carriage of that class, and the law relating to carriages of that class shall apply accordingly.
His Lordship said the principle of Section 26 of the Highways and Locomotives Amendment Act, 1878, had been extended by Section 41 of the Local Government Act, 1888. The former section empowered local authorities to make various regulations as regarded width of wheel, skids going down hill, and other matters. It had been pointed out that the clause as originally drafted was not clear as to the law that would apply. For instance, it was considered doubtful whether the Inland Revenue could levy a tax for this class of carriage, and the clause had been therefore amended to make it perfectly clear that, whatever the kind of carriage might be, and whether the Act of Parliament was a public, general, or local Act, the Act and any regulations under it would apply to these carriages.

Amendment agreed to; Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 2,—