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Private Bill Business

Volume 91: debated on Friday 15 March 1901

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Standing Orders Amendment (By Order)

Standing Order 134c read.

Perhaps I may be allowed to shortly explain the object of the Amendment I have to propose in this Standing Order. It has been represented to me that in regard to the laying of trams along main roads, it is possible that the interests of the county council and of the urban district authority may clash, and that it is desirable that the county council, which at present has no locus standi, should be given the right to appear against tramway schemes proposed to be laid along main roads for which the county is responsible.

Yes. Standing Order amended, in line 3. by inserting, after the word "affected," the letter (A). In line 5, by inserting, after the word "county," the words "or (B) by the provisions of any Bill proposing to authorise the construction or reconstruction of any tramway along any main road, or along any other road to the maintenance and repair of which the county council contributes, within the administrative county."

Standing Order 170A read.

This raises a somewhat different point. It applies to cases in which a corporation is going to construct or work tramways outside its own area. The Standing Order lays down certain conditions, one of which is that the Committee should insert in the Bill a clause enabling the local authority, to purchase the tramways at the end of twenty-one years. It has been found, especially in the ease of electric trams, that twenty-one years is not a sufficient period. Engineers put the life of an electric tram at forty-two years, and we propose to amend the Standing Order accordingly of course forty-two years will be an outside limit.

asked if there was any special reason why the period should be extended from twenty-one to forty-two years? It seemed to be a tremendous difference.

I am afraid J have not made myself quite clear. The reason is this. In the year 1870, when the Tramways Act was passed, twenty-one years was taken as the life of a tram way. At that time only horse tramways existed, but at the present time many corporations ace laying down electric trams, and the expense connected with the installation of these is so large that it has been found not to be worth while to lay them down unless for an extended period. If they have to sell them at the end of twenty-one years they are losers by the transaction.

In what sense do you mean the word "corporation"? Is it to be taken in its technical sense, or will it include a private company trading as the tramway company?

Then you are making a difference between corporations and private companies.

Are we to understand that this extension of time would not be granted to a private company?

A private company would get whatever terms the Committee chose to give it. This Amendment relates only to the Standing Order which deals with municipal corporations constructing tramways outside their own areas. Standing Order amended, in line 17, by leaving out, after the word "substitute," the words "shorter periods for the periods," and inserting the words "a period not exceeding forty-two years for the period of twenty-one years."—(The Chairman of Ways and Means.)