Select Committee on Administration First Report


(a) We recommend that the summer opening of the Line of Route become a permanent feature, subject to the criteria we outline in this Report. (Paragraph 13)
(b) We recommend that the three criteria already agreed by the House govern the permanent operation of the summer Line of Route:

  • that the Palace of Westminster is primarily a place of work, and public access to it must not impinge upon that work

  • visiting arrangements during the recess must not constrain either the Parliamentary works programme, or the ability of either House to sit at any time it might be necessary to do so

  • current rights of Members of both Houses and of the Parliamentary Education Unit to sponsor visits must be maintained. (Paragraph 14)

(c)In addition, we recommend a fourth criterion: that any arrangements should not impede the application of appropriately high levels of security within the Palace of Westminster and its precincts. (Paragraph 15)
(d)We recommend that the Line of Route Steering Group undertake a feasibility and cost/benefit study into the establishment of a permanent Visitor Management Office to run the summer Line of Route tours. (Paragraph 16)
(e)We stress that a charge would be made only for visitors taking a guided tour of the Line of Route during the summer adjournment. We are committed to the principle of free democratic access to the Houses of Parliament and remind the House that our constituents would still be able freely to visit both Houses at work:

  • to listen to debates of both Houses

  • to attend meetings of standing and select committees

  • to meet their constituency MP or Members of the House of Lords

  • to participate in Members' and Peers' sponsored Line of Route tours

  • to participate in activities arranged for schools by the Parliamentary Education Unit

  • to attend meetings sponsored by Members and Peers

  • to take part in lobbies of either House. (Paragraph 23)

(f)We recommend that options for the permanent siting of a ticket office be reviewed by the Steering Group. An ideal location would be sited nearby, but outside, the secure perimeter of the Houses of Parliament. (Paragraph 34)
(g)We recommend that Portcullis House be open to the public once again during the annual London Open House weekend. (Paragraph 37)
(h)We recommend that the Steering Group be empowered to authorise such temporary changes in the route as may from time to time be necessary. (Paragraph 38)

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Prepared 11 December 2001