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Turnpike Trusts—Questions

Volume 202: debated on Thursday 7 July 1870

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said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, considering that the Turnpike Trusts proposed to be abolished by the Turnpike Acts Continuance Bill of the present Session have mostly been condemned by the Select Committee which sat upon the subject last year, and that the abolition of many of them was only suspended until the decision of that Committee was given, Government will not still adhere to the abolition of those trusts; and, whether the Government propose to withdraw the Clause in the said Bill which provides that the repairs of the roads of abolished trusts shall be borne by the common fund of the highway districts instead of individual parishes, seeing that the Select Committee of last Session reported that it was desirable that the area of management should be extended considerably beyond the limits prescribed by the existing law, and that the principle of the Clause has received very general approval?

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he intends to withdraw any part, and if so, what part, of the Turnpike Acts Continuance Bill, as brought in by the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department, and which now stands for discussion in Committee; whether he intends to carry out the abolition of all, or any; and if so how many, of the Trusts scheduled in that Bill, to be abolished; and, especially, whether it is intended to retain the tenth Clause, which has given so much satisfaction to the ratepayers of parishes which have hitherto had to bear the sole expense of maintaining Turnpike Roads of which the Trusts have been abolished?

, in reply, said, the Turnpike Continuance Act was a misnomer. It began invariably by repealing a certain number of Acts, and afterwards by continuing others for a limited time. In so far as the Bill dealt with those two subjects, it was an ordinary Turnpike Continuance Bill; but it also contained an important clause to the effect that where Turnpike Acts were determined, and also in the case of all Acts which had expired within seven years from the passing of the Bill, the cost of repairing the roads included in such Acts should be cast upon the general fund of the Highway Board. It was the intention of the Government to proceed with the ordinary parts of the Bill—namely, all those portions which referred to the repeal of certain Acts, and the continuance for a limited time of other Acts, subject, however, to reconsideration in one or two cases. With respect to other portions of the Bill, if it were the general desire of the House—and he believed it to be their desire—that the clause referred to should be continued, the Government would be very happy to accede to that wish.