Turnpike Trusts County Reports, 1852
These notes are taken from the Turnpike Trusts County Reports, Hampshire, submitted to Parliament by Sir George Grey, London, 1852. The copy studied is in the Bodleian Library, call number Pp.Eng. 1852/44.
map type: Day 1852
The report is accompanied by a map of turnpike trusts in Hampshire, printed by Day and Sons, London, 1852.
AS YET I have been unable to trace the corresponding reports for Westmorland and Cumberland.
The bound volume of reports includes:-
County Reports of the Secretary of State, under the Act 3 & 4 Will. 4, c.80, relative to the Turnpike Trusts:-
No.4 - Hants.
The act was passed in 1834. A preamble to the volume states:-
SIR GEORGE GREY'S attention having been directed to Resolutions of Select Committees of the House of Commons on Private Turnpike Bills, in which the Committees expressed their opinion: that considerable saving of expense might be effected by preliminary inquiries, conducted under the direction of a public office:-
Such inquiries have been instituted by him into the circumstances of each Trust applying to Parliament for a renewal of its Local Act in the present Session, under the powers conferred upon the Secretary of State by the Act of the 3 & 4 Will. 4. cap.80, which requires the trustees of Turnpike Trusts to transmit copies of resolutions, as to the continuation or alteration of Turnpike Acts, to the Secretary of State, with copies of any special clauses which may be desired. The said Act empowered the Secretary of State to revise the accounts, and inquire into the management of Turnpike Trusts, and also to summon before him any treasurer, clerk, surveyor, or other officer of the trustees, who are to produce all books, accounts, or other documents, to enable the Secretary of State to elucidate the annual accounts, and prepare such reports and observations as he may think proper with respect to the state, condition, and repair of the roads, or with respect to the debts, revenues, expenditure, and management of any such Turnpike Trusts.
In concluding the several inquiries, and in endeavouring to effect equitable arrangements between opposing parties, Sir George Grey has been desirous to recommend, as far as practicable, in each case, that a portion of the annual income of each Trust should be applied to the redemption of the debt at present existing, so that the Trust may be in better financial condition annually, without imposing any additional burthens upon the parishes or public travellers.
Sir George Grey has also prepared, to accompany the report on each Trust, a brief abstract of the annual accounts from the year 1834, which will show the financial state of the Trust, and be useful for reference, during the investigations by the Committee.
The header for the Hampshire report (found on p.263, page
numbering added by hand when the reports were bound into a
TURNPIKE TRUSTS. / COUNTY REPORTS / OF / THE SECRETARY OF STATE, / UNDER THE ACT 3 & 4 WM. IV. CAP. 80. / No. 4 - HANTS. / Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty / [royal coat of arms]
LONDON: / PRINTED BY GEORGE EDWARD EYRE AND WILLIAM SPOTTISWOODE, / PRINTERS TO THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, / FOR HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE, / 1852.
The report for Hampshire is accompanied by a colour lithograph map of the turnpike roads in the county, printed by Day and Son, London, 1852.
The report is long, 26 pages (pp.263-292 in the
manuscript numbering), and only excerpts are quoted here.
Data about each of the turnpike trusts, numbered on the map,
are extracted into a schedule.
The opening remarks refer to the 1834 Act:-
During the 18 years which have elapsed since the above Act came into operation, a large mass of information relative to Turnpike Trusts has been obtained, ...
In 1833, Turnpike Roads were the chief means of communication throughout the Kingdom for the transit of goods and passengers: much expense and skill had been bestowed in adapting the roads to the increased traffic of goods, and the more speedy passage of the mails and stage coaches. From this period railways have gradually superseded the use of Turnpike Roads for the conveyance of goods and passengers, except for short distances and local convenience, and the Turnpike Roads in a large majority of the Counties have assumed more the character of ordinary highways. From the great reduction of income the Trustees have been compelled, in numerous instances, either to abandon the repair of the roads to the parishes, or to discontinue the payments of the interest of the debt.
In order to show the altered circumstances of the Turnpike Roads, which have thus been produced, Mr. Secretary Walpole has availed himself of the powers conferred upon the Secretary of State to prepare special reports, with full information of the state and condition of the Turnpike Trusts in particular counties, accompanied by a map of the roads, and various tabular statements, to be laid before Parliament.
General comments about the origin of turnpike trusts and their regulation, and the management of the roads, were made in the first of the county reports, for Kent, and were not repeated here.
The first highway in this county [Hampshire] which was converted into a Turnpike Road was that part of the London and Portsmouth road which extends from Sheetbridge to the town of Portsmouth. The original Local Act, the 9th of Anne c. 33, was obtained in 1710. It was intituled 'An Act for repairing the highways from Sheetbridge in the parish of Petersfield, to the town of Portsmouth in the county of Southampton.' The Act recites that, 'by reason of the multitude of carriages to the said town of Portsmouth for the use of war, and also other carriages travelling through, the said highways are become ruinous, and for the space of nine months at least in every year almost impassable, to the danger of all persons, horses, or cattle, that pass that way.' The Act appointed Commissioners, and empowered them to select fit persons as surveyors and toll-collectors. The following tolls were to be taken:- For every horse, 1d.; for every stage or hackney coach or other coach drawn by four or more horses, 1s.; for every other coach, chariot, or calash, drawn by one or two horses, 6d.; for every waggon, with four wheels, drawn by five or more horses, 1s.; for every other cart or waggon, 6d.; for every score of oxen or neat cattle, 10d.; for every score of hogs, sheep, or lambs, 5d. Section 10 authorized the majority of the surveyors, by order of the Commissioners, to mortgage the tolls, allowing for 6l. per cent. interest. This Act was to continue in force for 21 years, but was to terminate at an earlier period if the borrowed money were repaid and the roads sufficiently repaired.
In the year 1737 an Act was passed for converting a part of the London and Salisbury road into a Turnpike Road. The Act, the 10th Geo. 2. c. 12, was intituled 'An Act for repairing the road from Hertford Bridge Hill to the town of Basingstoke, and also the road from Hertford Bridge Hill aforesaid to the town of Odiham in the county of Southampton.' The said roads were described as being 'so ruinous and bad that many parts thereof, in the winter season, were impassable for coaches and other carriages, and also dangerous to travellers.' Under the said Act Trustees were appointed, with power to erect turnpikes, levy tolls, and borrow money on the security of the tolls. The Act was to continue if force for 21 years.
Do notice that a 'turnpike' is the barrier, the post that is tuned to let the traveller through. The word later comes to mean the 'turnpiked road' itself, the meaning which we expect today. The succession of turnpike acts are extracted and tabulated below.
... within 50 years from passing of the first Turnpike Act for this County 14 Trusts were established, and in 40 years afterwards the turnpike trusts had increased to 28. Since the year 1800 Local Acts for ten Trusts only have received the sanction of Parliament.
The map accompanying this report shows the relative position of the Turnpike Roads situate within the County. The roads are numbered to agree with the tabular statements, and are distinguished from each other by being coloured.
The principal main roads are the following:-
1. Part of the London and Salisbury road, passing through Hartley Row, Basingstoke, Whitchurch, and Andover. See Trusts numbered 7 and 3 on the map. Also the line from Basingstoke to Salisbury, passing through Stockbridge. See Trust No.29.
2. Part of the London and Southampton road passing through Farnham, Alton, New Alresford, and Winchester. See Trusts Nos.34, 35, 27, and 28.
The road to Poole, Wimborne, Wareham, &c. branches off from the city of Winchester, and passes through Romsey and Ringwood. See Trusts Nos.26, 25, and 23.
The road to Gosport branches off from Alton, and passes through West Meon, Droxford, Wickham, and Fareham. See Trust No.14.
3. Part of the London and Portsmouth road, passing through Petersfield, Horn Dean, and Cosham. See Trust No.22. Also the road from Farnham branching into the Portsmouth road at Petersfield. See Trust No.13.
4. Part of the coast road leading from Dover to Portsmouth and Southampton. See Trust No.31.
Part of the road from Southampton to Salisbury. See Trust No.33.
The report continues with a shallower summary of cross roads. Then:-
The Railways in this County are the London and South Western Railway, with branches to Gosport and Salisbury; the Southampton and Dorsetshire Railway; the coast line from Fareham and Portsmouth to Chichester and Brighton; and the Berkshire and Hampshire Railway which unites with the South Western line near Basingstoke. These several Railways have withdrawn from the Turnpike Roads nearly the whole of the mail and stage coaches, as well as the conveyance of passengers and goods for all long distances, leaving little else than the local traffic upon the roads in the vicinity of the Railways, and the more general traffic upon the cross roads. The tolls on the whole county have been reduced in thirteen years ... Some of the Trusts have suffered greater loss than others, varying according to the relative position of the railway and the roads of the Trust. In cases where the railway runs in nearly parallel lines with the road the loss is usually the greatest, but where the railway crosses the road at nearly right angles the tolls are sometimes increased thereby. In this County the lines of railways are for the most part indirect; the line to Southampton proceeds by Basingstoke, the line to Portsmouth by Chichester and the coast of Sussex, and the line to Salisbury by Southampton. This may account for the fact that the loss of toll upon particular Trusts is not so great in proportion as in some other Counties where the lines of railway are more direct, but at the same time the total loss is very considerable because the main roads to Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, Southampton, and Salisbury have suffered the loss of their chief sources of toll income - the numerous stage coaches, post chaises, and waggons to and from London - the traffic having been transferred to the railways.
the reduction in the toll income has not, however, been entirely occasioned by railways, but partly by a reduction in the rate of toll, which the Trustees in some instances have been enables to make in consequence of considerable portions of the Trust debts having been paid off. Another cause of the diminution of the toll income has been that the heavy traffic having been in a great measure withdrawn from the Turnpike Roads to the Railways, a much smaller amount has been required than formerly for keeping the roads in good and sufficient repair.
The report now starts to analyse the finances ... and refers to various turnpike management and regulatory acts.
The Statement, No.2, in the Appendix, contains a list of the several Turnpike Trusts, alphabetically arranged, showing the date of the original Act for each Trust, the number of Local Acts obtained, the titles of the existing Acts, the dates when the several terms expire, the length of each road, &c.
This is in appendix 2, from which data has been extracted into the list below as well as possible. Further parts of the report, supported by tables and other appendices, continue the analysis of the state of the turnpike trusts. The last words of the report summarise a bad situation:-
In concluding this Report it may suffice to say that as the affairs of Turnpike Trusts in the several Counties are investigated, the necessity of revising those which are in the most hopeless condition, and of making new regulations for their future management, becomes increasingly manifest, and the mode of dealing with each Trust separately by Parliamentary Committees, or by arrangements under the sanction of the Secretary of State, appears generally to be considered as satisfactory. By a continuation of this system of legislation the Turnpike Trusts of the Kingdom in the course of a few years will be raised from their depressed condition, and provision will be made for gradually liquidating the debts which have remained burthensome for so many years, and have occasioned a much larger amount of toll to be levied than was required for keeping the several roads in repair. In some cases the revision of the Trusts, however desirable, is necessarily postponed until the existing terms of the Local Acts have expired, unless the Trustees and Creditors are willing to adopt the provisions of the Turnpike Trusts Arrangement Act of 1851.
(Signed)_ WM. G. HYLTON JOLIFFE.
Whitehall, June, 1852.