Skip to main content

London Traffic

Volume 180: debated on Tuesday 13 August 1907

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he can definitely state that the branch in connection with London traffic, recently established in his office, is to be of a temporary character; whether it has been established pending legislation next session; and whether he can state what duties in connection with traffic this newly-appointed branch of the Department will be asked to perform.

Yes, Sir. It is not contemplated that the traffic branch should be of more than a temporary character, and its establishment is without prejudice to any future legislative proposals that may be made. Among the duties of the branch at the outset will be the collection of information and statistics with a view to bringing and keeping the Report of the Royal Commission up to date and the preparation of an annual Report with regard to London traffic for presentation to Parliament, the preliminary examination of new schemes seeking statutory authority so far as these come within the scope of the Board of Trade, and the consideration of any other questions affecting traffic in Greater London that the Departments concerned may desire to refer to it.

May I ask the hon. Gentleman what steps have been taken to empower the Commissioner to deal with items of London traffic which stand outside the scope of the Board of Trade? The duties of such a Commissioner would be very limited unless they were extended to the Home Office and the Local Government Board.

Is it intended to introduce legislation next session dealing with this traffic question?

No doubt legislation will follow in due course, but whether next session or the session after I really cannot say.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it is a considerable time since the Report of the Royal Commission, and there is a great difficulty with reference to London traffic? Either you must hang up schemes which are or may be of great advantage to the public, or else you must allow them to proceed at the risk of throwing out the whole subsequent development of the question.

I can assure the noble Lord that we are fully alive to the necessities of the case.

Are the Board satisfied that they have statutory powers to examine private Bills under the present law?