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HIGHWAY ACTS, 1862, 1864;
THE LOCOMOTIVE ACTS, 1861, 1865,
HIGHWAYS AND LOCOMOTIVES
(AMENDMENT) ACT, 1878,
WITH THE ACTS IN EXTENSO,
NOTES, AND COPIOUS INDEX.
JAMES A. FOOT, Esq., M.A.,
of the Middle Temple, Barrister-at-Law.
LONDON : SHAW & SONS, FETTER LANE AND CRANE COURT,
Law Printers and Publishers.
Two objects were had in view in passing the Highways and Locomotives (Amendment) Act, 1878. First, the amendment of the Law relating to Highways in England; and secondly, the amendment of the Locomotive Acts, 1861 and 1865. In carrying out the first of these objects attention appears to have been so much directed to highway districts that, at first sight, it almost seems as though no alteration was contemplated as regards ordinary highway parishes. A closer examination of the Act, however, soon dispels that illusion, and reveals the fact that it makes important alterations in some of the most essential particulars as to the law relating to parish highways, equally with district highways.
Amongst these may be mentioned the provisions with respect to the audit of accounts contained in section 9; those in section 10 as to proceedings for the maintenance and repair of highways; in section 13, as to disturnpiked roads becoming main roads; in section 15, as to declaring ordinary highways to be main roads; in section 23, as to extraordinary traffic; in section 24, as to unnecessary highways; and in section 26, as to bye-laws prohibiting or regulating the use of waggons, &c., with a certain description of wheels, and for other matters. Other sections might be mentioned. But sufficient has been referred to to call attention to the fact that although the Act mainly applies to district parishes. it nevertheless has an important effect, in many instances, on ordinary highway parishes, and, therefore, must not be disregarded by highway surveyors.
In preparing the following abstract, however, the difficulty of dealing with ordinary highway parishes in conjunction with district parishes was found to be too great to render such an attempt advisable, and it was therefore decided to take the Highway Acts, 1862 and 1864 as a model, and to arrange the Abstract, to a certain extent, in conformity with their provisions, but with additional heading's suitable to the more careful sub-division of the subject rendered necessary by the consolidation of the three statutes. It was felt that the most effectual way of showing the changes effected by the late Act, was to consolidate its provisions with those of the Acts of 1862 and 1864, and thereby enable the reader to see at a glance its effect upon the previous Acts, and the changes introduced. Of
the completeness of an Act of Parliament. But it is, at any rate, the best substitute for it that circumstances permit; and has, at least, the merit of grouping together subjects which in the original order followed in the Acts, must necessarily be widely separated. It is hoped, therefore, that a Consolidated Abstract, coupled with the Acts themselves, and the notes which accompany them, will be found of service in showing the real state of the law with respect to highway districts and the alterations which have recently been effected in it. The effect of the late Act upon the general laws of highways is left for explanation by the notes appended to its various sections.
One of the leading features of the Highways and Locomotives (Amendment) Act, 1878, is the endeavour to transfer
the management of highways from highway boards to rural sanitary authorities. This is sought to be accomplished by requiring the justices in quarter sessions when forming highway districts or altering their boundaries, to form them, so far as practicable, so as to be coincident in area with rural sanitary districts (section 3), and then giving power to the rural sanitary authorities to apply for an order enabling them to exercise the powers of a highway board within their district (section 4). Upon the making of such an order any existing
4. highway board will be dissolved, and the rural sanitary authority will take their place, with certain exceptions as to the mode of obtaining payment of expenses (section 5). The expenses incurred by a rural sanitary authority in the performance of their duties as a highway board will be payable as general expenses under sections 229, 230 of the Public Health Act, 1875 (Id.). The adoption of this power, it will be observed, is quite optional on the part of the rural sanitary authority. But should it be acted upon, the management of highways will devolve upon the board of guardians in addition to their management of the poor, and there will be but one authority having the control of both poor and highways within the union.
Another most important alteration will be found in section 7, providing that after the 25th March, 1879, all expenses incurred by a highway board in maintaining highways will be chargeable on the district fund, instead of to the respective parishes under 27 & 28 Vict. c. 101, s. 32, just as in the case of the maintenance of the poor under the Union Chargeability Act, 1865, 28 & 29 Vict. c. 79, the cost of their relief and other expenses are charged upon the common fund of the union. This alteration will considerably facilitate the adop