Lanarkshire Tramways [1920] UKHL 784 (21 July 1920)

Lanarkshire Tramways.

(Before Major G. M’Micking, M.P. (Chairman), the Marquis of Linlithgow, Lord Elphinstone, and Major Wm. Murray, M.P.—at Glasgow.)

Subject_Provisional Order — Locus — Tramway — Extension of Limit within which Buses could be Run — Burghs Wholly within Existing Limit — Public Company, not Statutory, Running Buses in District.

Provisional Order — Procedure — Reply — Leading Evidence — Plan Put in Cross-Examination of a Witness in the Interest of One Objector.

Provisional Order — Tramway — Local Government — Bus Traffic — Provisions for Protection of Local Authorities — Model Clause. Headnote:

The Lanarkshire Tramways Company, a statutory company incorporated in 1900, promoted this Order to obtain power for three purposes, viz.—( a) to change the denomination of its shares from £10 to £1, each existing £10 share to become 10 £1 shares, and this proposal was not objected to; ( b) to alter its fares from being for ordinary passengers 1 2d. per half-mile or portion thereof to 1d. per mile or portion thereof, and for workmen from 1 2d. per mile or portion thereof to 1d. per 2 miles or portion thereof; and ( c) to alter the limitation on its power to run buses from “in extension of the tramway system, but not to a greater distance than 5 miles beyond the tramways termini,” a power obtained in 1908, so as to enable it to run buses in connection with or in extension of the tramways system throughout the whole county of Lanark. The Order was objected to (1) by the County Council of Lanark on the grounds ( a) that if an increase of fares was necessary the necessity was only temporary, and could and should be met by an application to the Minister of Transport under the Tramways (Temporary Increase of Charges) Act 1920, and ( b) that as regarded the buses a greatly increased burden was to be imposed on the county in connection with the maintaining, and regulating the traffic on, the roads; (2) by five burghs in the County of Lanark, viz., Airdrie, Coatbridge, and Motherwell on the buses question, Hamilton and Wishaw on both the buses and the fares question; (3) by the Caledonian Railway Company and also by the North British Railway Company on the buses question only; (4) by the Corporation of Glasgow on the buses question; (5) by the Airdrie and Coatbridge Tramways Company on the buses question; and (6) by the Scottish General Transport Company, Limited, a company incorporated under the Companies Acts 1908–1917, which was running buses in the county of Lanark, on the buses question.

Objection was taken by the promoters to the locus of Motherwell and of Hamilton and of Wishaw on the buses question on the ground that no part of the territory of these burghs was five miles from the tramway system and so outwith the existing limit. On the part of the burghs the exact terms of the existing limit were referred to, and it was also pointed out that were the limit altered as proposed there might, indeed certainly would, be an increased bus traffic on the streets and roads of the burghs. Objection was also taken to the locus of the Scottish General Transport Company, Limited, on the ground that it was a purely commercial company with no statutory status nor statutory obligation and therefore could not be heard. On behalf of the Transport Company it was explained that it had been formed in connection with the Airdrie and Coatbridge Tramway Company, which it practically owned, and in connection with whose tramway system it ran numerous lines of buses with the approval of the county and local authorities; that the present proposals were for an entirely new development, the existing statutory powers of the Lanarkshire Tramways Company referring really to their tramway undertaking, just as there were statutory powers for the tramway undertaking of the Airdrie and Coatbridge Tramway Company, and it was urged that in this question of transport which so intimately affected the whole district a locus, the granting of which was a matter of discretion, should not be refused to a company so vitally interested whose appearance would not prolong the inquiry.

The Commissioners, after adjournment, granted a lotus to the three burghs and to the Transport Company.

The inquiry proceeded and no-evidence was led for the objectors, but in its course counsel for the railway companies, in cross-examination of one of the promoters’ witnesses, referred—producing it—to a plan. Counsel for the promoters made a claim, based on this incident, to a right of reply on the whole case. Counsel for the railway companies maintained that if there was any right of reply, which was not admitted, it was limited to the railway companies’ case.

The Commissioners, after adjournment,

Page: 785

intimated that the right of reply was limited to the railway companies’ case.The Commissioners found the preamble proved and at the adjustment of clauses a clause with regard to the bus traffic, for the protection of the local authorities, based on a suggested model clause issued by the Ministry of Transport, was included.


Counsel for the Lanarkshire Tramways Company ( Promoting)— Macmillan, K.C.— Scanlan. Agents— W. & J. C. Pollock, Solicitors, Hamilton— Sherwood & Company, London.

Counsel for the County Council of Lanark ( Objecting)— Hon. W. Watson, K.C.— James Keith. Agent— Sir Thomas Munro, County Clerk, Hamilton.

Counsel for the Burghs of Airdrie, Coatbridge, Motherwell, Hamilton, and Wishaw ( Objecting)— Hon. W. Watson, K. C.— James Keith. Agents— Thomas Thomson, Town Clerk, Airdrie— John Alston, Town Clerk, Coatbridge— James Burns, Town Clerk, Motherwell— P. M. Kirkpatrick, Town Clerk, Hamilton— A. G. Stewart, Town Clerk, Wishaw.

Counsel for the Caledonian Railway Company and the North British Railway Company ( Objecting)— Hon. W. Watson, K.C.— Graham Robertson. Agents— D. L. Forgan, Solicitor, Caledonian Railway Company— James Watson, S.S.C., North British Railway Company.

Counsel for Glasgow Corporation ( Objecting)— Macphail, K.C.— Russell. Agent— Sir John Lindsay, Town-Clerk, Glasgow.

Counsel for the Airdrie & Coatbridge Tramways Company ( Objecting)—Gentles. Agent— J. Turner Macfarlane, Solicitor, Glasgow.

Counsel for the Scottish General Transport Company, Limited ( Objecting)— Gentles. Agent— J. Turner Macfarlane, Solicitor, Glasgow.