Dates -1878
JurisdictionStatute Labour Trust
Person NameStatute Labour Trust; County of Ross-shire; -1878
ActivityThe earliest provision for the maintenance of roads in Scotland, from 1617 (APS, c. 8) onwards, imposed duties on the justices of the peace. In 1669 a further act of parliament (APS, c. 37) imposed elaborate means to enforce labour on the roads and an act of 1686 (APS, c. 81) made the commissioners of supply jointly responsible with the justices of the peace. The system was paid for by an assessment levied by the commissioners of supply, but the income was low and funds tended to be spent on bridge upkeep. Roads maintenance was managed by statute labour, which was compulsory work on the roads by ‘the Tenants, Cottars and other labouring Men’ (5 Geo. I, c.30), and was overseen by the justices of the peace. The system did work in some areas but [was] often met with resistance or grudging acceptance.To remedy the defects of this system the counties began to obtain private acts of parliament enabling them to impose taxation for roads repair and to appoint bodies of statute labour trustees to administer the money. The Road Act, 1845 (8 & 9 Vict, c.41) enabled local trustees to abolish personal service on the roads and to replace it with a local tax. The Roads and Bridges (Scotland) Act, 1878 (41 & 42 Vict., c.51) placed the turnpike roads, statute labour roads, highways and bridges under the control of one road trust for each county made up of commissioners of supply and some elected members. Tolls and statute labour assessments were abolished. County road trusts were abolished by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 (52 & 53 Vict. c.50) and their duties were assumed by county councils.
Corporate NameCounty of Ross-shire
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