Robert Hampton

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29th July 2011

Undertaking is a breach of the Highway Code
Posted by at 7.33pm | Trains | 1 response

United Utilities sent a letter to our home recently enclosing a notice about our sewers, presumably to comply with some legal niceties.


It’s fairly mundane stuff, until you get halfway down the page and find this little nugget (click to enlarge):-

This notice does not apply to private sewers or private lateral drains which: 1. are owned by a railway undertaker; or

The phrase “railway undertaker” conjures up an image of a funeral director who loads coffins into the 0821 to Southport. I suspect however, it means undertaker in the sense of “an undertaking” – i.e. a railway company. Presumably there is some arcane law which requires specific reference to be made to “railway undertakers”.

It’s yet another legacy of how important the railways were in the good old days – I suspect there are thousands of these laws still on the statute books.

I found it amusing, but maybe I should be worried about the staff at Aigburth station going to the toilet – if the sewers are not maintained by United Utilities, where does the waste go?