|Local Transport Bill [HL] - continued||House of Commons|
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Clause 70: Power to require display of certain information
180. This clause empowers the appropriate national authority (the Secretary of State in relation to England and the Welsh Ministers in relation to Wales) to make regulations imposing obligations on prescribed persons to display certain information relating to public transport. The information could, for example, relate to the Public Transport Users' Committee for England or the Rail Passengers' Council, the Bus Appeals Body (a non-statutory body), the customer complaints manager of the transport operator concerned, or travel information services like Traveline or Transport Direct. Any regulations would be subject to the negative resolution procedure.
181. This clause also enables the appropriate national authority to empower traffic commissioners to impose financial penalties on any operator of a public service vehicle (which could include buses providing local services or long-distance coach services) who does not comply with regulations made under this clause. The regulations would specify the maximum penalty that may be imposed. Operators would have a right of appeal to the Transport Tribunal against any decision by a traffic commissioner to impose a financial penalty.
Clause 71: Appeals to the Transport Tribunal
182. This clause amends Schedule 4 to the TA 1985, which prescribes the constitution, powers and proceedings of the Transport Tribunal. Paragraph 9 of that Schedule sets out the Tribunal's powers in relation to appeals against various decisions of the traffic commissioners. The Tribunal, when hearing an appeal against any determination of a traffic commissioner, has the power to make any order they think fit, or where appropriate to remit a matter to the traffic commissioner for a rehearing.
183. Clause 71 amends paragraph 9 so that these powers apply in relation to appeals under clause 70 of this Bill, and also to appeals under section 155 of the TA 2000. Section 155 empowers traffic commissioners to impose financial penalties on bus operators in certain circumstances and is amended by clause 59 of this Bill to make additional sanctions available.
Part 5: Integrated Transport Authorities etc.
184. The provisions in this Part extend to England and Wales, but, because they relate to passenger transport areas, in practice they have effect only in relation to areas in England.
Clause 72: Change of name of passenger transport areas and PTAs
185. This clause provides for the passenger transport areas in England created under the Transport Act 1968 - that is, the six metropolitan counties in England - to be known in future as "integrated transport areas". It also provides for the Passenger Transport Authorities in England established under the Local Government Act 1985 (one for each passenger transport area) to be known as "Integrated Transport Authorities" ("ITAs"). The clause also provides that any reference in existing legislation to a "passenger transport area" or "Passenger Transport Authority" in England and Wales should be read respectively as a reference to "integrated transport area" or "Integrated Transport Authority".
186. This clause also introduces Schedule 4, which makes amendments to various enactments consequential on the change of name. The amendments reflect the fact that the change of name does not apply in Scotland, where the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority remains as a statutory entity.
Clause 73: Power to establish a new ITA
187. This clause provides that, subject to certain conditions, the Secretary of State can make orders establishing new integrated transport areas in England and creating ITAs for those areas. Subsections (2) and (3) provide that the Secretary of State can make an order to establish an ITA only where a scheme has been published under the provisions of clauses 74 and 75 or a direction under clause 75 to prepare and publish a scheme has not been complied with. Subsection (8) provides that where an order is made creating a new ITA, it must provide that a majority of the ITA's members must be chosen from amongst the elected members of the local authorities that make up the integrated transport area.
Clause 74: Authorities' review: new ITA
188. This clause provides that any two or more of the types of authorities listed in subsection (1) may review the effectiveness and efficiency of transport within a geographical area the extent of which complies with subsections (2) and (3). The effect of this is that the area under review must consist of two or more local authority districts. If that review concludes that the establishment of an integrated transport area and ITA would improve the exercise of statutory transport functions in the area and the effectiveness and efficiency of transport in the area, then those authorities must publish a scheme for the establishment of the area and an ITA for it. Subsection (5) provides that the area of the proposed integrated transport area can be all or part of the area covered by the review or can also cover one or more additional counties or districts not covered by the review, as long as the authorities listed in subsection (6) have given their consent.
Clause 75: Secretary of State's power to direct a review: new ITA
189. This clause provides that the Secretary of State can direct any two or more of the authorities listed in subsection (2) to carry out a review of the effectiveness and efficiency of transport in the whole or part of their combined areas. Subsection (4) provides that such a direction may also require the authorities to produce a scheme to establish a new ITA. Subsection (6) lists the types of issues which a direction may require to be covered by a review and any scheme.
Clause 76: Authorities' review of arrangements
190. This clause provides that any one or more of the types of authorities listed in subsection (2) may review the effectiveness and efficiency of transport within one or more existing integrated transport areas. If that review concludes that the exercise of statutory transport functions in those areas would be improved by the making of an order under clauses 78 to 84, changing the way in which statutory transport functions in that area are exercised, then those authorities must publish a scheme proposing how this should be done.
Clause 77: Secretary of State's power to direct a review of arrangements
191. This clause provides that the Secretary of State can direct any combination of the following to carry out a review:
192. The Secretary of State can direct that the review should consist of any of the matters covered by clauses 78 to 84, namely:
193. Subsection (6) provides that such a direction can also require the directed body or bodies to prepare and publish a scheme containing proposals which would require the making of an order by the Secretary of State to enable them to be implemented (for instance setting out how many representatives each authority in a transport area would have on the ITA).
194. Subsection (8) sets out certain requirements which the direction can also impose, including the timetable for the review and scheme, and certain issues which must be addressed in each of them (for instance, what would be the membership of the ITA).
Clause 78: Constitutional arrangements
195. This clause allows the Secretary of State to make an order about the constitutional arrangements of an individual ITA.
196. Subsection (2) defines what is meant by "constitutional arrangements". An order could, for instance, cover the membership of that ITA, executive arrangements within an ITA or the functions of any "executive body" of the ITA. (Under the existing legislation, each PTA has a Passenger Transport Executive, which is the executive body responsible for implementing the policies of the PTA.)
197. Subsection (3) provides that where an order is made in relation to the constitution of an existing ITA and that order includes provision about the ITA's membership, it must provide that a majority of the ITA's members must be appointed from amongst the elected members of the local authorities for the integrated transport area (e.g. councillors of metropolitan district councils).
198. Subsection (5) defines what is meant by "executive arrangements" within the ITA, for instance the establishment of an executive and the arrangements by which that executive can exercise the powers of the ITA. These provisions mirror the provision made for local authorities by Part 2 of the Local Government Act 2000.
199. Subsection (7) provides that an order cannot provide that anyone other than the ITA has responsibility for agreeing its budget, so this function could not be delegated to an executive of the ITA.
Clause 79: Delegation of functions of the Secretary of State
200. This clause provides that the Secretary of State can make an order delegating any of the Secretary of State's own functions (for instance in relation to strategic roads or rail), to:
201. However, the clause does not allow the delegation of the Secretary of State's powers to make secondary legislation or to set fees and charges.
Clause 80: Delegation of local authority functions
202. This clause allows the Secretary of State to include provision in an order to make any function of a county council or district council exercisable by:
203. This power applies to such functions only in so far as they relate to the integrated transport area (or to a former such area), and only if the Secretary of State thinks it appropriate for the ITA or other authority to exercise that function.
Clause 81: Conferral of a power to direct
204. This clause enables the Secretary of State to make an order which confers a power to direct on (i) an ITA, or (ii) where an existing ITA is being dissolved or its boundary being contracted, a designated local transport authority.
205. Where the power to direct is conferred on it, an ITA or designated local transport authority would be able to issue a direction to a metropolitan district council, county council or unitary authority as to how the latter should exercise its functions as a local highways authority or local traffic authority. These powers include for instance the ability to install traffic management measures (such as bus lanes), traffic calming measures and the carrying out of maintenance works on their roads.
206. Subsection (6) provides that such directions can apply controls in the case of specific roads or descriptions of roads (for instance, major bus routes). Subsection (7) makes clear that directions cannot apply to roads covered by concession agreements under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.
207. Subsections (8) and (11) list the matters to which a direction can relate, which are:
Clause 82: Contravention of an order under clause 81
208. This clause provides that if a body to which the Secretary of State has granted the power to direct under clause 81 issues a direction to a local highway authority or local traffic authority and the authority to which the direction is issued fails to comply with it - for instance it fails to take the necessary action to enable a bus lane to be installed on one of its roads - then the authority which issued the direction can take the necessary steps to rectify matters. This includes the ability to take over the relevant powers of the directed authority for the purposes of putting matters right and to recoup the costs of doing so from that authority.
Clause 83: Changing the boundaries of an integrated transport area
209. This clause allows the Secretary of State to make an order changing the boundary of an existing integrated transport area. This would enable the order to either add to or take away from an ITA area the whole of the area covered by:
210. Where the order removes an authority's territory from an ITA area, it must also designate an authority to take over as the local transport authority for that territory. The order may also transfer the former ITA's other functions - in so far as they relate to that territory - to that authority.
Clause 84: Dissolution of an integrated transport area
211. This clause allows the Secretary of State to make an order to dissolve an integrated transport area and abolish its ITA. However, where she does so the order must also designate one or more authorities - for instance the metropolitan district councils within the boundaries of the integrated transport area - to take over as the local transport authorities for the former area. The order may also transfer the former ITA's other functions to these authorities.
Clause 85: Orders under clauses 78 to 84
212. This clause sets out several constraints on the Secretary of State's power to make orders under clauses 78 to 84, including:
Clause 86: Incidental etc. provision
213. This clause provides that the Secretary of State may make such incidental, consequential, transitional or supplementary provision as she deems necessary in support of an order made under Chapter 2 of Part 5 of the Bill. For instance, the order could provide for the transfer of property and assets to an ITA in consequence of an order under clause 79 or 80 which has delegated certain functions to an ITA.
214. Subsection (4) also allows the Secretary of State to make orders making such amendments, repeals or revocations to other primary and subordinate legislation as appear to her to be appropriate in consequence of making an order, for instance to reflect the fact that a new ITA has been established.
Clause 87: Procedure for orders under this Chapter
215. This clause provides that any order made under Chapter 2 of Part 5 would be a statutory instrument and subject to affirmative resolution in each House of Parliament.
Clause 88: Further provision about directions
216. This clause provides that directions given by the Secretary of State must be in writing. Their contents can also be varied or revoked by further directions.
217. This clause provides that the Secretary of State can issue guidance about anything which could be done by an authority under Chapter 2 of Part 5. Authorities must have regard to this guidance in carrying out their reviews.
Clause 90: Change of name of ITA
218. This clause provides that an existing ITA can make a resolution to change its name. Subsection (2) sets out conditions which must be followed in making that resolution. The ITA must notify the Secretary of State that it has changed its name. The latter can also direct the ITA that it must publish this notification and in what manner.
Clause 91: Amendment of power to reorganise functions
219. Section 42 of the Local Government Act 1985 allows the Secretary of State to make orders providing, amongst other things, for the dissolution of a passenger transport area or removing the territory of one or more metropolitan district councils from that passenger transport area. Clauses 83 and 84 provide revised powers to dissolve such transport areas or amend their boundaries. Given that, this clause repeals the provisions in the Local Government Act 1985.
Clause 92: Power to promote well-being
220. ITAs operate within a framework laid down by statute. They have no powers to act other than where they are expressly or impliedly authorised by law to do so. There is a range of statutory duties which they are required to fulfil, and a wider range of permissive powers enabling them to undertake defined activities if they so wish.
221. This clause provides ITAs with a power to take any steps which they consider likely to promote or improve the economic, social or environmental well-being of their local community. These powers have already been granted to local authorities by means of Part 1 of the Local Government Act 2000. This clause would allow ITAs to undertake a wide range of activities for the benefit of their local area and to improve the quality of life of local residents, businesses and those who commute to or visit the area.
222. Subsection (3) provides that this power enables ITAs to work in partnership with other bodies. For example, it allows ITAs to assist other statutory bodies to discharge their functions, or to exercise those functions on their behalf. Subsections (6) and (7) enable an ITA to delegate its power to take action under these well-being powers to a PTE or other executive body created by an order under this Part.
Clause 93: Limits on power to promote well-being
223. Subsection (1) limits the power established in clause 92 by preventing an ITA from taking any action that is prevented by a statutory prohibition, restriction or limitation. Subsection (2) prevents ITAs from using the well-being power in clause 92 to raise money. Subsection (3) allows the Secretary of State to prevent one or more ITAs from using the power to do anything which she specifies by order that they should not do, subject to the consultation requirements in subsection (5).
224. Subsection (7) permits the Secretary of State to issue guidance to ITAs on the exercise of the power, subject to the consultation requirements in subsection (8). Subsection (10) provides that any order made under the preceding subsections will be a statutory instrument subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.
Clause 94: Power to amend or repeal enactments
225. Clause 92 provides ITAs with a broad power to act. They will be able to use the power except where there are specific prohibitions, restrictions or limitations in other legislation. Clause 94 allows the Secretary of State, by order, to amend, repeal, revoke or disapply any such enactment which obstructs ITAs from taking steps to promote the well-being of their areas. This power could be exercised in relation to one or more ITAs.
226. Subsection (5) provides that any order made under subsection (1) is a statutory instrument subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.
Clause 95: Procedure for orders under clause 94
227. This clause sets out the procedure to be followed by the Secretary of State in making orders under clause 94. It provides for detailed scrutiny of any such orders. Before laying any orders, the Secretary of State is required to consult representatives of local government and others. The Secretary of State must make available to Parliament the results of that consultation, together with an explanation of the purpose of the order.
Part 6: Local and London charging schemes
Clause 96: Power of ITAs to make charging schemes
228. This clause provides that a charging scheme under Part 3 of the TA 2000 may be made jointly by an ITA and one or more eligible local traffic authorities. An eligible local traffic authority is one which is either in the ITA's area, adjoins the ITA's area, or adjoins an area which adjoins the ITA area. Such a scheme is referred to as a "joint local-ITA charging scheme".
229. The clause also allows a charging scheme to be made jointly between a ITA, one or more eligible local traffic authorities and one or more London traffic authorities. Such a scheme is referred to as a "joint ITA-London charging scheme". An ITA can make a charging scheme in accordance with the provisions of clause 96 only if it is done jointly with at least one eligible local traffic authority.
230. Because ITAs are established only in England, this clause and clauses 97 to 102 have no application to Wales.
Clause 97: Local charging schemes to implement policies of ITAs
231. This clause amends section 164 of the TA 2000 so that a local charging scheme which is made by one local traffic authority acting alone, and which has effect wholly within an integrated transport area, can be made only if it directly or indirectly facilitates the achievement of the local transport policies of the ITA. Where the charging scheme has effect outside of the integrated transport area then the clause means that it can be made only if it directly or indirectly facilitates the achievement of the local transport policies of the charging authority. 20
20 Local transport policies are defined in section 108(5) of the TA 2000, inserted by clause 7, as explained above.
Clause 98: Joint local charging schemes to implement policies of ITAs
232. This clause amends section 165 of the TA 2000 so that where a local charging scheme is made jointly by two or more local traffic authorities, and has effect wholly or partly within an integrated transport area, it can be made only if it directly or indirectly facilitates the achievement of the local transport policies of the charging authorities and the local transport policies of the ITA for that integrated transport area. Where the charging scheme has effect outside of the integrated transport area then the clause means that it can be made only if it directly or indirectly facilitates the achievement of the local transport policies of the charging authorities.
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