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IBRIDGEND TURNPIKE TRUST.

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BRIDGEND TURNPIKE TRUST. It may be in the recollection of our readers, that at a meeting of the above Trust, held at Bridgend, oil the 4th ult., several petitions wete presented, some of which had been agreed to at public meetings, complaining of the number of gates, chains, and bars, within the Trust, and containing charges of extortion, aileged to have been made by several of the lessee's collectors. The Right HilI). Gentleman who occupied the chair at that meeting, together with the other Trustees, being of opinion that the various subjects brought under their notice conl(1 Ilot be satisfactorily (iisposed of at one of the ordinary meetings of the Trust, teferred the petitions to a Commit lee, consisting of the Right Hon. Sir John Nicholi, ihe Hn, R. Knight, M. P. Traherne, Richard Fiankleu, Wm. Lewis, Robt." Lindsay, M. P. Smith, and Wm. Llewellyn, Esq^s., 110 were to meet as often as neces- sary, and make ail inqnities and investigations into, and lepoit upon, the various allegations contained in the several petitions, and upon the funds, expenditure, and manage- ment of the Trust. For that purpose, the Committee were empowered to examiin- witnesses, documfnts.&c.,and col- lect all necessary information. It was intended that the report should have been punted in sufficient time to be dis- cussed at tlie monthly meeting of the Trustees, held on Saturday, the —til ult., but in consequence of the voluminous documents necessary to be examined, and the evidence which the Committee were dcsiious of hearing, the report, the appearance of which was looked forward to with consi- derable interest, both by the Tiustees and the toll-payers of the district, did not appear out 1 the pr'»setit week. By the politeness of the Clet k of the Trust, and of one V the gentle- men of the Committee, we have been favoured with eaily copies of the document.—The Committee, after making a few pi eparatory observations upon the importance to Trusts of maintaining their credit towards tho-e paities who have, under the sanction of Acts of Parliament, advanced them bond fide, and in hard coos! the money by which the roads were made, pioceed to remark generally upon the state of the roads in the Tiust, and the best mode of collecting the revenue; and altera few observations upo-i the difficulty of deciding the proper situation and number of gates, bars, &c., so as to avoid oppressing the public, without benefitting the Trusts, and of so 3t'F?ui £ U) £ g lUem, as not to bold out a temptation to the inhabitants of di-tant parishes to pass over, and thus wear out, the highways of parishes to which they do not contribute," and of avoiding the erection of gates, merely to catch persons who derive no substantial advantage from, or who do no injury to, the road," the Report says:— Your Committee now proceed to report the course and the results ot their enquiry. They have ascertained—1st. The length of each turnpike road in the district; 2d. The toil-gates, bars, and chains, and tlie tolls pavable upon each road 3d. The debts due on the credit of the tolls 4th. The revenue of the trust since 1833 inclusive; 5th. The expenditure of the tru,t since 1840 inclusive, beyond which thev were of opinion it would not answer any useful purpose to carry back their enquiries on this head: 6th. Tliey considered the management of the trust generally 7th. They investigated the allegations and complaints contained in the several documents referred to them lastly, They en- deavoured to ascertain what would probably be the state of the fund, and the prospects of the trust, at the end of the year 1843. And in the course and at the close of their report, they have submitted recommendations and observations on various poin.s. i-ioie pariiculai-ly as to the conduct of the business of the trust, the accounts, the maintenance or removal of gates, bars, chains, and posts, and the granting or withholding exemptions from, or reduction of, toll." Under the first of the above divisions, the Committee have taken considerable pains in gelling np a series of tables, exhibiting the number of roads in the Trust—the length of each road —the parishes through which it passes—the number of gates, the dates of their erection, and the other gates in the disnict cleared by them. It appears, that there are eight roads in the Trust, viz., the mail roatl, which is 14 miies and 1,520 yards, contains six gates and two bdrs i-the Ew-enny road (1 mile 308 yards) no gate, bar, or chain;— the Ldiiliarran road (7 miles 440 yards) three gates;—the Brynceihyn road (3 miles) two gates;—the Coylrehen ioid (3 lilies 1,664 yards) two gates ;—the Cefnglas road (4 milt's 443 yards) two gates ;-the Newton road (3 miles 440 yards) contains no gate or bar, but one chain, which the Committee recommend should be discontinued. Then follows a table shewing the gates at which tolls are payable, and their distances from each other. Some of these gates clear all in the district, with the exeeption of one or two. The following is impoitant, as affording most decided proof that the lessees of tolls have, in some cises, exacted tolls without the authoiiiy or permission of the Trustees, thereby giving just cause for complaint On this line there are several pairs of posts, at which it ap- pears that tolls have been occasionally collected. Your Com- mittee have been unable to ascertain the times when, or the all. thority under which these posts generally were put up. There are no toll boards or chains, or any house or hut for collecting toll at any of them. The following is a list of them, with their his- tory, as far as the Committee could discover Then follows the enumeration of five pairs of posts, at Iha. first of which tolls had been collected for a month which, when the fact coming to the knowledge of the Trustees they in isted that no further tolls should be collected." At the second and third, tolls still are occasionally collected. At the next, tolls have never been collected, and at the last named posts, tolls are collected, and the Committee add- "we know not by what authority they were put up." In addition to tbete, there are two pair of posts named as having formerly existed, one of which has been removed, "baying been put up without authority," and for the other there has been substituted a gate, which the Committee re- commend should be forthwith remoted. The following note is added Your COlllmittee do not find that the posts have been included in tnyofthe leases granted from time to time since 1833, in many of which the actual gates demised are enumerated." Under the third head, the Committee give a statement of the debu d<»«, bow-and when contracted. fks f#r ataimy "have been enabled lo collect information :— Ti|e monie* borrowed from time to time on the credit of llie tolls are 9713/. 10s., the whole is still due, and repayment thereof with interest, at the late of five pounds per cent. per annum, is secured to the creditors by mortgages of the tolls. Your Com- initte hare been unable to ascertain with precision, at what times or for what particular purpose,* the several sums were borrowed." Under ihe fourth and fifth heads, the Committee enter I into full details relating to the revenues of the Trust, which almost exclusively arise from tolls, and which are the highest leviable under the local Act. The imoomeand expenditure of the Trust upon each road from 1840, is also fully given, the account of which occupies several pages. The money appears to have been fairly expended. Wifh our bitiits it would be imjJOóõsible to give even wn abstract of the accounts, bnt we recommend those who feel Interested in the subject to peuise the report. The Committee, under the sixth head of !\Ianai:em"nt of the Trust," state the expense, &c., incurred upon each I road, with observatinns upfon the state of all the roads in the district. With regard to the maift-road, the report says- The expenditure fin Ihi" Lne. in ordinary repairs, has been as follows :-1840, 523/. lis. 1841. 435/. 3s. lOd. 1842, 436/. lis. being on an average 465/. 2s. per annum, and 81/. 5s. lOd. per mile." On the different parts of this line the cost of repairs varies considerably, principally owing 1* the different distances from which the materials are hauled. The road from Brocasde to Bridgend, though much improved within the last three years, is still unsound, and considerable expense in incurred in the repairs, the alone (mountain limestone) beiot: hauled from lands near Longlaild Farm between Corntown and Brocaslle. The road in the town of Bridgend had been invariably repaired with lias limestone, which was to be had close to tbe lime, and at a very trifling expense but as that material is very soft and clayey, it has been found better, and, in the end, more economical, to pro- cure mountain limestone from Ewenny Down and the neighbour- hoed, iiotwithstHndiiig that the expense of haulage is heavy, and the quantity ofmateria) required is very large, in consequence of lie great traflic." Tm Ewenny Road.—The expenditure, in ordinary repairs, has been *• follows 1840, 71 13s. 5d.: 1841, 17/. 19s. 9d.; 1843, 271. -2b.; being on an average 111. lis. SAd. per aunum, and 141. Igs. 3d. per inile. The Lanharran Roeul.-The expenditure, in ordinary repairs, bas been as follows1840, 108/. 7s. Id.; 1841, 1291. Is. 4d.; 1842,1461. 2s Id.; being on an average 1261. 10s. 2d. per annum, aud 171 8s. llfd. per mile. Tito Bryncethilis R(ilid.-The expenditure, in ordinary repairs, lias been as follows :-1840, 141. 16s. 6d; 1841, 43/. 3s. 9d.; 1842,171.3. 3d.; being on an average !5t. Is. 2d. per annum, and 8L 7". Otd. per mile. The Coytrrhen Road.—The expenditure, in ordinary repairs, JMS been as follow8 :-1840, 651. 18s. 7'd.; 1841, 661. 19s. 9d. 4842, 751. 16s Id.; being on an average 69/. 1 Is. per annum, and 17L 12s. 8d. per mile. The Cefu Glas Road.—The expenditure, in ordinary repairs, has been as fallows1840, 60l 7s. 6d.; 1841, 56/. 19s. 3d.; 1842, 411. 3s. 2d.; being on an average 521. 16s. f d. per annum, and 121 9s 8id. per mile. The Newton Roatl.- The expenditure, in ordinary repairs, has been at follows: —1840, 3ll.7..1d.; 1841, 271. 1941. Id 1842, 351. 4s.; being on an average 311. 10s. Old. per annum, and 91. 13s, IOd. per mile. The Committee suggest several alterations relating to the mode of conducting the business of the monthly meetings, and attribute the thin attendance of Trustees at the meet tugs lip the circumstance of their being held on Saturdays, when Several of the members are engaged at Petty Sessions, 'the Hoard of Guardians, &c. With respect to the accounts, the Committee say — The accounts of the Trust are annually examined and audited, a balance-sheet printed, and a copy thereof transmitted to Ihe a balance-sheet printed, and a copy thereof transmitted to Ihe Secretary of State, in pursuance ot the Stat. 3 anddk W. 4, c. 80. e 'I kt The accounts, however, have not been very c o ei)i. The different heads of account, as kept by the Surveyor, do not agree with the heads of account in the annual balance-sheet. Your Committee recommend that, for the future, tbe Surveyor should keep a separate account for each line of road, divided Under the following heads :—Manual labour—Team labour, and carriage of materials—Materials for surface repairs- Damage done in obtaining materials -Tradesmen's bills-improveinents- Incidental expenses—Statute duty performed, estimated value." In addition to several other tilings, they recomnlend- Tlwt in future a cony of the yearly balance-sheet should annually be sent to the Surveyor of i lie roads of every parish through which each turnpike-road passes, and also lo the several county newspapers; and that the surveyor of the turnpike-roads, on payment of one penny, .should deliver a copv thereof to any individual applying for the same. The balance-sheets of the years 1840, 1841. and 1842, are appended to this Report." Two or three pages are devoted to the subject of salaries of officers, in which there is nothing worthy of especial remark. Then conies the seventh, and, to the public, the most important classification of the report, under the head of Documents referred to your Committee." Under this division are considered various petitions emanating from public meetings, letters, &c., which are given at length in the appendix to the report, and most, if not all, of which have, from time to time, appeared in the Cambrian. They consist of— 1. A petition from Margam, Pyle. and other parishes, agreed to at a pubtic meeting at Kentig, on the 26th of October last. 2d. A memorial, complaining of certain alleged exactions by the toll-collectors at Pyle, Taibach, and Aberavon, and of certain other matters. 3d. A petition from Coycburch. Lanilid, and other parishes and, 4th, a let'er addressed to the Chairman of your meeting, by C. R. M. Talbot, Esq." With respect to the first document the report says The petition from the pubtiomeetio); at Kenfig, states, that there wfie formerly but two gates from Aberavon lo Cowbridge, that tliete are now twelve, and tb»t the tolls levied are doable Wb*tjhey formerly were, and the petitioners fray for the removal of Taibach, Pyle, add Bed-hill Gales. It is trne that very many jears ago, when tb. value of money was much higher and the price of laboar much lower than at present, tbe toll on horses drawing was three-pence, and the to'l on horses not drawing, one penny, and that such tolls are now doubled. But then the mode and rate of travelling were very different. Themail instead of going, as it does at present, at the rate of nine or tell miles, went only about four or live miles an hour, and the stale of the roads was such as wonld not now be tolerated. The tolls were raised in or before ISOr" to fourpence hall-penny and three half-pence, and about sixteen years to sixpence and twopence, the rates at present levied, and which are the same as are levied in the Car dilf. Cowbridge, and Neath districts." After stating tint, having made enquiries of the lessee, who said that in case the Taibach, Red-bill, and Pyle gates were lemoved, as praved, he conld not afford to pay above two thirds of his p:es;nt rents, the Committee say that they could not recommend any measure so fatal to the main- tenance of the roads, and eventually so injurious to the parishes "as the removal ot those gttes. The tfp rt then tieats of the serious charges of exaction made agaiest several of the lessee's collectors. It says:- "The Committee were attended by ,\1 r, Powell and a con- siilerubie number of farmers from the neighbourhood, and the lessee bei g also present was examined, and positi-elv denied the truth of the most important alleuation contained in the IIII" moiisil. He declared that no inoie than sixpence for eiery horse drawing a cart had ever been ch however nnrni tons might be the parties whose goods were in the cart and he positively disclaimed ail to charge according to the number of persons I with vvtiose potatoes or goods a cart mi^ht be laden, lie ad- initted that toll had been demanded more than ottce on the same day for the same carl passing through the salne.gate, when loaded with potatoes n t belonging to ihe owner of the cart, but to > different individuals he slated that he ony claimed to charge a second time if the cart was hired, not if it was borrowed, and Ihat he was not to be understood 10 say, that, ev, n when the cart was hired, he enforced payment in every case. lie justilied tlie charge under the 11th sec. of the 1 W. IV., c. 69, the Gla- j inorganshire Turnpike Act Amendment Act. Your Committee, however, having expressed a decided opinion, that the 14th sec- tion did not apply to such a case, the les-.ee thereupon frankly declared that lie was content to charge toll only once a day, and if the cart were loaded with potatoes, not sold or disposed of, nor on their vvuy to be so'd or disposed of, and if the fellies of the wheels of the cart were 41 inches wide, to demand no toll at all. To this your Committee desiie to add, that, ia their opinion, if the cart be drawn one horse, or by two onl), it matters not what mav be the width 01 the fellies of tbe wheels, no toll is P'-tvable. Mr. Powell, on the 22d of November, furnished the C'ha mi m of your Committee with the names of several persons, who, on various occasions, as it is alleged, having poiatoes be- longing to each ot them in the same cart, ut the same time, were each charged and each paid a toil of si\pence for each horse drawing such cart. Enquiries were subsequently made, under the directions of your Committee, on the from the parlies mentioned by Alr. Powell, arid also from others but though your Committee have to report that parties when examined (not however upon oalh), have positivelv asserted, that an exaction of the nature complained of was practised on one of them in the autumn of 1842. yet no case has beeu brought to the knowledge of your Committee in which such all exaction is alleged to have occurr, d during the last six months the limit beyond which the statute prohibits any proceedings. The enquiries are still pro- ceeding, and should any case, happening within the last six months, be discovered, summonseti will be immediately taken out, and the matter submitted to investigation before the Magis- trates of the division in which the offence may be alleged to have been committed." In the Llanvihangel wasgon case referred to in the me- morial, the complainants appear to have fairly substantiated the charge of exaction against the collector; but the report adds— The lessee states, that when informed of this, he explained to the colleotor that he was wrong, and forbade him to do so again and morejver, tile lessee, in the presence of tbe Com- miuee, offend io repay the overcharge to the owner oftlie waggon." In the second charge made, it appeats that toll had been demanded in tbe evening, when the wagiron returned empty after having paid in the morning; but the Committee ex- press an opinion, that "in stiictness," "under the words of the Act," toll was due, for the waggon having, broken down on the road, the horses returned not drawing the same waggon. The Committee next come to the consideration of the petition from Coychnrch, Lanilid, and the adjoining patisfces, and in support of wlrcli Messrs. Evan Bevan and Thomas Jenkins attended before the Committee. It appears that some of the statements made in this petition were exag- gerated, and admitted by Messrs. Bevan and Jenkins to he so; yet, it cannot he denied, but that there existed some causes for complaint, especially respecting the posts" at which tolls had been collected without any authority, and which the Committee recommended should be immediately removed. The Committee declined acceding to the ptay'er of the petition in recommending the removal of the Coy- church gate, for reasons fully given in the report, but which we have no sp*ee to quote. The last subject taken into consideration nnder this head of the repoit is, a letter add>essed to the Tiustees, by C. R. M. Talbot, Esq., M.P., in which it is asserted I- That the state of the road in the Bridgend District is very much worse than it is in any other district." An I that, The heavy debt incurred by the Trustees, in turning the main line through the town of Bridgend, without thereby having short- ened the line for the public, but with a view to the improvement of the town, has no doubt mainly contributed to the difficulties and necessities oftlie Trust." With respect to the first averment, the Committee admit that, despite the multiplicy of gates, the roads are in a worse state than the Cowbridge and Cardiff roads, but contend that they are in a better state than the western roads. With regard to the second charge made by Mr. Talbot, the Committee enter into a lengtliend defence of the TI 1100t. and maintain that if they had been influenced by the motive referred to, it would not have been an improper motive, as llie" great object of all turnpikes and ,ailro*ds is to improve the communications of populous neishboarboods;" but they further contend that the new line of road is not only calculaled to improve the town of Bridgend, but is a great pnbli. ac- eommnrtitrtntivfrtiismncli as (though iongerbyr308 yanTs tfian the new line) it is a level and passable roard, while the old road was billy» narrow, winding, full of sharp turns, and awkward corners, crossed by two very narrow and danger- ovis hridgps," and ww very frequently rendered impassable, in consequence of which, during spring, autumn, and winter the mail was often detained and compelled to go several miles out of its line. In the last division, the Committee take into consideration the 44 probable state of the funds, and prospects of the Ti ns1, on the 3lst Dec., 1843." This portion of the report occupies ten or twelve pages, bnt as we ha\ e already devoted more spaee than our limits warrant, the noiice of this part must be very brief. After givins the state-of the funds, as they stood in Dec., 1842, their probable state in Dec., 1818, and the receipts and expenditure for 1840,1841, and 1842, the Committee conclude, that, witnoot a reduction of any of the sources of the present income, the expendiure of the last three years must be slightly reduced while Mr. Bullin, the lessee, says, tint no gate or chain could be done away with without a loss to the Trust. They then enter into length- ened details, bul which are of no great interest, of the pro- bablo amount of the receipts at each gate, and suggest many desirable alterations, which would greatly relieve the toll. payers. but which the Committee state could not be carried into effect, without involving a large expenditure and the termination of the present lease." The Committee add, that they recommen i the abolition of all gates, bars^ chains, and posts, except the foHowing:— Aberavon gate; Taibuch gate; Pyle side-bar, in Pyle vil Inge Pyle bar, above the Railway Red-lull gite and chain Newcastle bar; Bridiend gate (double); Oldcastle gate; Cuy- church gate (double); Penprisk gate (double) Skibbor-y-Groes gate; Newcastle Bridge gate; Aberkenfig gate; Newcastle Old gate (double) and Cefo Cribbwr gate." The last subject referred to in this document is the prayer of the meniurialists, that lime used for manure, aud linie- coal, should be exempted from |if payment of toll. The Committee decline acceding to the request of the petitioners by recommending these exemptions, and urge as reuena- their illegality—their injustice. Why are we, agricul- tural Trostees," says the Report, "to continue the tax on other interests, and relieve our own, when the Legislature has not said that there is a reason for sncli inequality." And, thirdly, their inexpediency, owing to the state of the finances. Viewing the whole report, it must be acknow- ledged, as expressed by Mr. Lewis, at the last meeting of the Trustees, that, though the cases of the memorialists w< re not made out nearly so strong a* they were represented to be -whether from a lack of exertion in bringing them forward, or from their non-existence —stiH, there exists considerable canQe for complaint; and we hope the Trustees will nor hesitate to carry into effect those portions of the report in which some of the grievances complained of are recom-, mended to be redressed.

FAIRS IN THE ENSUING WEEK.I

To the EDITOR of The CAMBRIAN.

To the EDITOR of The CAMBRIAN.…

. COWBRIDGE TURNPIKE TOLLS.

HOPE.

Family Notices

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COUNTRY MARK-ETS.

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