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Reference > Media law & regulation > UK media laws > Telecommunications > Telegraph Act 1863

UK media laws: Telecommunications


26& 27 Vict. c.112
An Act to regulate the Exercise of Powers under Special Acts for the Construction and Maintenance of Telegraphs.

General Powers of Company. [see note above]
6. General description of works which a telegraph company may execute, subject to the restrictions of this Act.
   No other rights are conferred 'other than that of the user only in the soil of any street or public road under, in, upon, over, along or across which they place any works'.

7. Provision as to compensation.
   For damage caused in exercise of powers.
8. Provision as to gas and water pipes.

Restrictions as to Telegraphs under Streets and public Roads.
9. Not to place telegraphs under streets in Metropolis, and large towns without consent of bodies having control of the streets.
       In England and Wales, applies to roads other than those maintainable at public expense, by virtue of SI 1974/595.
10 Depth, course, &c. of underground works to be agreed on between street and road authority and Company or else to be determined by justices or sheriff.
12. Company is not to place a telegraph along a street or road without the consent of the body having control of street, etc. As to where a public road passes through parks, pleasure grounds, etc. ... and where a public road passes through or by the side of any park or pleasure grounds, and where a public road crosses, by means of a bridge or viaduct, or abuts on any ornamental water belonging to any park or pleasure grounds . . . or to any mansion, the [company/Post Office] shall not, without, or otherwise than in accordance with, the consent of the owner, lessees, and occupier of such park, pleasure grounds, or mansion, place any work above ground or on such public road'.
13. Where the landowner, &c., is liable to repair of the street, &c., the company is not to place works in such a street, &c. without consent.

Removal of Works affecting Streets and public Roads.
14 In case of the abandonment of works, &c., the street or road authority or the owner of land may remove them.
15 In the event of alteration of the street or road, the company is to remove and replace the works under or over the same.

 Restrictions as to the opening of Streets and public Roads.
17-20. Requiring due notice, making good, etc.
   Effective only in Northern Ireland; repealed in England, Wales and Scotland—see Public Utilities Street Works Act 1950 c.39, s.15, Sch.5.

Restrictions as to Works affecting private or Crown Property.
21. As to works affecting Crown Property.
22. Company is not to place telegraphs above ground, and posts, within certain distance of dwelling houses, without the consent of the occupier, &c. Not closer than 10 yards
       (2) consent is coterminous with the occupancy and
       (3) ending occupancy, the occupant can require removal of the works [see also Post Office Act 1969 c.48 Sch 4, and British Telecommunications Act 1981]
        (4) which the company shall carry out within one month.

23. Notices to be published, and left at dwelling houses, of the intended telegraph along a street or public road after the consent of the street or road authority has been obtained.
24. Power of the  owner or occupier of adjoining land or building to object.
25. Until the objection is settled, works are to be stayed [suspended].
26. Examination and inquiry to be made by the Board of Trade.
27. Powers of Board of Trade respecting the objection.
28. Decision of Board of Trade is final.
29. Costs.

Removal or Alteration of Works affecting Land or Buildings.
30. For building or other purposes, the owner, &c., may require removal of works.
   If land is to be built on, developed, inclosed, etc, works may be required to be removed but subject to stated procedures.

Restrictions as to Works affecting Railways and Canals.
32. For works affecting railways, canals, &c., the consent of directors, &c., is requisite. Even if the telegraph is following the line of a road which crosses the railway or canal.
33. Access from future docks to canal. [Excluded by Public Utilities Street Works Act 1950].
34. Board of Trade may in any case appoint an arbitrator.
   Authority later transferred to the Secretary of State.

Restriction as to Works affecting Seashore.
35. For works on the seashore, consent of the proprietors of the shore and conservancy or other authorities is requisite.
36. Plan of such works to be subject to approval by the Board of Trade.
37. Lights and signals for such works. To mark presence to shipping, etc.
38. Power of Board of Trade as to such works if disused, &c
39. Local survey of such works by the Board of Trade.
40. Recovery of expenses by the Board of Trade in such cases.
45. Punishment of officers of the company for misconduct respecting messages.

 Telecommunications laws
 Alphabetical list of statutes.


Page created 25 June 2005
© David Fisher