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ELECTRIC TRAMS FOR RHYL. INQUIRY BY THE LICHT RAILWAY COMMISSIONERS. THE SCHEME APPROVED. On Saturday the Earl of Jersey, G.C.B., and Colonel Boughey, C.S.I., sat at the Council Chamber as the Light Railway Com- missioners for the purpose of hearing evidence in snpport of the application of the Rhyl and Prestatyn Light Railway Company for an order authorising them to construct electric tramways through the streets of Rhyl from a point on the East Parade, opposite the Grand Pavilion. Mr Henry Allen Steward, Secretary to the Light Railway Commissioners, was also present. Mr Lewis Coward, barrister-at-law, appeared for the promoters of the scheme. There were also present Mr Warwick Webb (solicitor and parliamentary agent to the company), Mr H Percival Williams (Messrs Gamlin & Williams, local solicitors for the scheme), Mr A Dickinson (Messrs Alfred Dickinson & Co., Birmingham) engineer, Mr F G Griffiths, Birmingham; Councillors J S Greenhalgh (chairman), Peter Mostyn Williams, Captain E W Keatinge, Dr Girdlestone, A L Clews, H A Tilby, J W Jones, D Griffiths, Messrs A Rowlands (Town Clerk), A A Goodall (Town Surveyor), G A Taverner, Chadwick, E Edwards, W Hall, D Trehearn, M S Osborne, etc. Mr Lewis Coward in laying the case before the Commissioners said that the scheme now proposed was really a continuation of that sanction last year to be constructed from the East Parade, Rhyl, to Prestatyn. The ap- plication for the original undertaking was made in March, 1899, but it was not until the 3rd of April, 1900, that the order was finally con- firmed. The proposed extension was the natural corollary of the order of 1900, because it would bring the two ends of the town into direct communication. It was proposed to take the line along the West Parade to Sandringham Avenue, thence to the Marine Lake, with a short length running to the Foryd. It would be continued along Welling- ton-road and Bodfor-street to the Railway Station, thence through High-street to the West Parade. There was also to be a short length in Queen-street, which was the more direct route to the sea from the railway station, and a petition would be signed in favour of the line passing through that street. No formal objection had been made to the scheme. The Company had made an arrangement with the Rhyl L-rbaii District Council to take the electric current from them for a period of five years. The District Council had already obtained sanction to a loan of £ 27,000 for electric light works, and had entered into con- tracts and were actively pushing on with the works. The promoters had agreed to pay to the Council a minimum sum of something like £1,000 per annum for five years. Provided the order was confirmed sufficiently early, the Company had agreed to complete the whole line by the 1st of April next year, by which date the Council would be in a position to supply them with the electric current. Mr P Mostyn Williams (Chairman of the Electric Light Committee), said he was .in favour of the scheme, and believed that it would offer great facilities for visitors and residents. The town required easy means of access, and the proposed extension of the line would provide what was wanted. The Marine Lake was becoming more popular, and the value of that undertaking would be materially z, increased if there was a tramway running to it. The Council also hoped that some day there would be steamers running to Foryd from Liverpool, and if that did come to pass the tramway would be of great benefit in carrying people to the town. The Council would derive pecuniary benefit from the concern, as they would supply the Company with electric current from the new electric light works, so that the tramway promoters would be good customers to the governing body of Rhyl. The Council desired that the works would be constructed as soon as possible. Lord Jersey asked Mr Mostyn Williams which of the two thoroughfares—High-street or Queen-street, he would prefer that the line should pass along. Mr Mostyn Williams replied that he would like to see the nne running through both streets. The distance to the Parade from Wellington-road was very short, and his idea was that they should take the line along Queen- street if the High-street people objected. Lord Jersey Do you know of any objection regarding the High-street route ? Mr Mostyn Williams I do not know of any objection myself, and I have seen a memorial from Queen-street, which is the direct route from the Station to the Parade. Mr Coward There is more traffic in High Street ? Mr Mostyn Williams Yes. Of course, the electric tramway would draw traffic, and would make High Street more busy. Mr Coward If it went through Queen Street it would improve that thoroughfare and detract from High Street. Mr Mostyn Williams Yes. The Town Clerk was-then called, and stated that he had held office for 30 years. On April 4th, 1900, the Rhyl Council passed a resolu- tion approving of the scheme. He agreed with what Mr Mostyn Williams had said, and he believed that the Councillors generally approved of the scheme. He did not believe that the line would injure the shopkeepers in High Street it would rather improve their business. At one time it was stated that there was an objection to the High Street route, and as soon as the shopkeepers in Queen Street, heard that they petitioned the Council to take the line through the latter street. No formal objection had been lodged to the scheme, and he believed that people would like to see it passing along both Queen Street and High Street. Mr J S Greenhalgh said he was in favour of the High Street route although Queen Street was the more direct route to the sea. He would like to see the line passing through Queen St. as well as High Street. More people would be tapped if the latter route were adopted. He heartily supported the scheme, and believed that the tramway would be of great benefit to the town, as the place had developed in a longitu- dinal direction, and there were houses built right up to the boundary on each side. The town was very narrow, and so people were bound to build on the vacant land at either the east or west end, with the result that they required easy means of access from one point to another. The sea frontage of Rhyl was nearly two miles in length. Mr J W Jones agreed with what the Chair- man of the Council and Mr P Mostyn Williams had said. He believed that the electric tram- way would be a great attraction to the town of Rhyl, and that it was indispensable to the success of the larger undertaking to Prestatyn. Additional mean,, *f communication between the East and West ends of the town were required, and a marine drive of 4 to 5 miles in length was sure to be popular. Mr A Dickinson was next called, and said he had prepared the plans for the undertaking. The scheme presented no engineering difficul- ties, the heaviest gradient being 1 in 28. The complete line would be about seven miles in length. It wuuld be worked on the 3ft 6in gauge, and be worked on what was known as the overhead system." He calculated that about -0,000 persons would use the line each week during the summer, 6,000 weekly during the winter, or an average of 13,000 for the twelve months. The capital of the company would be £ 75,000 share, with power to borrow £ 25,000. In reply to Lord Jersey, Mr Coward said the company wanted to run the trams next April, but in order to do that it would be necessary that the Order should be issued at once. In the last instance there was a period of 13 months between the holding of the inquiry and the issuing of the Order. There had been con- siderable opposition on the part of the private owners of land over which the railway would pass, and a deviation had to be made in the route. The Prestatyn Urban District Council I had also petitioned against the running of f Sunday trams, which matter had been adjudicated upon by Sir Courtney Boyle himself, but the opposition failed. He pressed upon the Commissioners the necessity of the Order being confirmed as soon as possible, as the Rhyl Council were proceeding to get their electric light works ready by the 1st of April next year. There was no opposition to the Order being granted, and Lord Jersey said it would be issued. The company would be required to increase their deposit from £1300 to £2000. Mr Warwick Webb replied that that would be done at once. The Town Clerk said he was directed to ask whether the two schemes-that from Prestatyn to Rhyl and the extension through the streets —would be carried out simultaneously. Mr Coward said that it would be carried on as a whole. The Town Clerk said he was also directed to ask whether the Company would give a guarantee to run trams during the winter. Mr Dickinson replied that the Company had entered into an agreement to take a certain quantity of current, which made it necessary to run trams all the year round. Mr Cowards added that they would have to use the current as agreed, and if they did not run the trams how could they expend it. Mr Tilby said he did not consider that the answers given were what they should be. He asked that the representatives of the Company would give an undertaking that there would be a continuous service all the year round. There was an idea abroad—he did not know what grounds there were for it—that the Company did not intend to run the trams all the year round, and he asked for an assurance on that point. Did the Company intend giving a complete service during the winter months Mr Coward said it was the Company's inten- tion to keep to the terms of their agreement with the Council as to the taking of current. Lord Jersey said that clause 54 of the Order gave people the power to appeal to the Board of Trade if it was considered that they were not getting what they were entitled to. Mr Coward added that the Council had their remedy if sufficient trams were not run. Lord Jersey said he felt that the public were sufficiently protected by the clauses of the Order. Mr Tilby replied that an appeal to the Board of Trade was a cumbersome process, and the question might arise as to what was sufficient for the public, or what was injurious. It would be more satisfactory if the promoters would give an assurance that they would run a con- tinuous service. The Chairman said he thought that the pub- lie were protected by the clause. He did not think that there would be any difficulty in approaching the Board of Trade. Mr Tilby believed that an assurance from the Company would allay public anxiety on the question. Mr Coward said it was the firs; time that he had heard it suggested that the Company did not intend to act in accordance with the powers they were seeking. They intended to keep up a proper service, and if they did not do so a remedy was provided in the Act. Mr Tilby said he would be satisfied with that assurance. Lord Jersey The Board of Trade will soon come down upon them if they do not do what is right. It was also stated that the new Order and thal already granted would be read together as one Order. The proceedings then closed. Z!1

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