Traffic Management Bill

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Brian White: The example given by the hon. Member for Christchurch about traffic in north Lambeth was erroneous: I have seen the traffic there improve over the last few months. In view of the Minister's assurances, I shall seek leave to withdraw the amendment.

Mr. Redwood: I am attracted to amendment No. 135, and should like to defend the drafting done by my right hon. Friend the Member for East Yorkshire: I do not think that it is as bad as the Minister suggested. My hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch was generous in saying that it may need to be re-worked. It seems clear that when it says

    ''a reasonable period is agreed'',

Column Number: 115

that reasonable period would be agreed between the traffic manager, acting on behalf of the motoring public, who want less congestion, and those carrying out the works, who may be statutory undertakers or the highways authority works department.

My hon. Friend has in mind exactly the kind of creative tension within the local authority that I tried to introduce in another debate on another new clause, where the highways department responsible for maintaining and improving the network would have to negotiate with and answer to the traffic manager responsible for the proper use of the network as it stands. That is inherent in the amendment, and if my hon. Friend is happy for the Government to redraft it, so am I. I accept that what we want to get across today is merely the point behind the amendment. The Minister should understand that the amendment was thought through sensibly, and the agreement intended would have been made between the traffic manager for the motoring public and whoever it might be on the other side who wished to restrict the highway for works, which could include the works department of the highways authority. It is excellent that my hon. Friend wishes to press the matter further. Since the Minister said that he thought that the publication of a timetable for works was an excellent idea, why cannot we have that in the Bill?

Column Number: 116

Brian White: I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed: No. 135, in

    page 7, line 30, at end insert—

    '(3A) The traffic manager shall ensure that prior to the commencement of any work on the highway other than emergency work, by, or on behalf of the local authority which appointed him, a reasonable period is agreed and publicised within which the work should be carried out.'.—[Mr. Chope.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 4, Noes 9.

Division No. 12]

Chope, Mr. Christopher Knight, Mr. Greg
Redwood, Mr. John Wilshire, Mr. David

Bayley, Hugh Borrow, Mr. David Jamieson, Mr. David McNulty, Mr. Tony Merron, Gillian
Miller, Mr. Andrew Thurso, John White, Brian Wright, David

Question accordingly negatived.

It being twenty-five minutes past Eleven o'clock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

Adjourned till this day at half-past Two o'clock.

The following Members attended the Committee:
Beard, Mr. Nigel (Chairman)
Bayley, Hugh
Borrow, Mr.
Chope, Mr.
Jamieson, Mr.
Knight, Mr. Greg
McNulty, Mr.
Merron, Gillian
Miller, Mr.
Redwood, Mr.
Thurso, John
White, Brian
Wilshire, Mr.
Wright, David

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