London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Amendment) Bill

Memorandum submitted by Transport for London (LO 01)

1. Introduction

1.1 Transport for London (TfL) welcomes this opportunity to inform the committee’s scrutiny of the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Amendment) Bill (the Bill). This submission sets out TfL’s position on relevant provisions in the Bill and provides further information on transport for the Games to aid the committee’s work.

1.2 TfL is the integrated body responsible for London’s transport system. It manages London’s buses, trams, London Underground services, the Docklands Light Railway, London Overground suburban train services, river services, London’s taxis, Barclays Cycle Hire and promotes walking initiatives. TfL is also responsible for London’s major highways, all of its traffic signals, the Congestion Charge and the Low Emission Zone. TfL is the traffic authority for Greater London Authority (GLA) roads and side roads.

1.3 As a functional body of the GLA and chaired by the Mayor of London, TfL is working closely with Government Departments, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, London boroughs, the police and other transport providers to ensure the delivery of the Olympic Transport Plan. As well as keeping London moving during the Games, TfL is responsible for transporting spectators and the workforce, and managing the Olympic Route Network (ORN) to transport the Games Family in London.

1.4 Since early 2011, TfL has had responsibility for the development and implementation of the ORN and for travel demand management for the Games, which includes advice to businesses and freight operators in London. TfL is responsible for the co-ordination of its subsidiaries to ensure that an integrated rail and surface transport service is provided for the Games. In addition, the Mayor’s Transport Strategy requires TfL to produce a Transport Legacy Action Plan to ensure the long-term benefits of investment in Games transport.

2. Background

2.1 A traffic regulation order (TRO) is the legal instrument by which traffic authorities implement most traffic management controls on their roads under the provisions of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (the RTRA). TROs are used to regulate, restrict or prohibit the use of a road or any part of the width of a road by traffic or pedestrians. A TRO may take effect at all times or during specified periods, and certain classes of traffic may be exempted from a TRO.

2.2 The London Olympic and Paralympic Games Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) made provision for traffic authorities to make certain types of TROs on their roads for Olympic Games purposes. The Olympic Games purposes are as follows:

· To implement the Olympic Transport Plan, or

· To facilitate transport services in connection with the London Olympics.

2.3 The 2006 Act gives the ODA the power to make TROs on roads designated as part of the ORN for Olympic Games purposes. Traffic authorities may also make TROs for Olympic Games purposes on roads designated as part of the ORN but only with the consent of the ODA.

2.4 The 2006 Act currently allows traffic authorities to establish temporary traffic restrictions or prohibitions using a temporary TRO under section 14 of the RTRA (but only for road works, danger to road users or litter clearance) and to close roads to facilitate a ‘London Olympic event’ using a special event TRO under section 16A of the RTRA. In addition, the 2006 Act removes the existing restrictions on the duration of special event TROs and the requirement to obtain the consent of the Secretary of State.

2.5 The proposed amendments in the Bill seek to improve the flexibility of when and how section 14 temporary and section 16A special events TROs can be used to achieve Olympic Games purposes.

2.6 The 2006 Act makes provision for traffic offences to be enforced under civil procedures in accordance with provisions in the Traffic Management Act 2004 (the TMA). Currently only the provisions of the TMA relating to enforcement of parking and stopping are in force. Moving traffic contraventions are enforced in Greater London by London traffic authorities using local civil enforcement under the London Local Authorities Act 2003 (LLAA).

2.7 The Bill seeks to amend the 2006 Act to allow moving contraventions to be enforced under the provisions of the LLAA.

3. The Bill’s provision

Clause 4: Orders and Notices relating to temporary prohibitions, etc on roads relating to Section 14 of the 2006 Act

3.1 Currently traffic authorities can implement temporary restrictions and prohibitions for Olympic Games purposes under section 14 of the RTRA but only for the following limited purposes:

· Because works are being executed on or near the road;

· Because of danger to the public, or serious damage to the road; or

· For street cleansing and litter collection.

3.2 In addition, if temporary remedial action is necessary, including in urgent circumstances where advance publicity is not possible, a section 14 TRO can be made by notice rather than by order but again only for the limited purposes set out above.

3.3 Clause 4 of the Bill removes the requirement that one of the limited purposes must apply before a section 14 TRO can be made for Olympic purposes. The clause also allows a traffic authority to, when necessary or expedient for the purposes of the Olympic Games, effect a control needed urgently by notice instead of by order.

3.4 TfL supports these amendments as it is envisaged that temporary restrictions and prohibitions may need to be implemented at short notice to ensure successful delivery of the Olympic Games and the safe and efficient movement of people and goods in the Capital.

Clause 6: Road closures and restrictions relating to Section 16 of the 2006 Act.

3.5 The clause seeks to expand the application of Section 16A Special Events orders made under the RTRA beyond simple road closures to include other types of restriction for the purpose of facilitating a ‘London Olympic Event’. These other types of restrictions could include suspensions of waiting and loading, banned turns, restricted access to certain classes and types of vehicles, and changing direction of flow.

3.6 TfL supports these amendments as it is envisaged that there will be a large number of events that fall within the definition of a ‘London Olympic event’ and these events may require a range of measures to be applied to achieve the safe and efficient movement of people and goods.

Clause 7: Enforcement of Moving Contraventions in Greater London relating to Section 16 of the 2006 Act

3.7 The clause seeks to achieve the civil enforcement objectives of the 2006 Act for moving contraventions by enabling London traffic authorities to use their existing local civil enforcement powers in the LLAA to enforce contraventions of the relevant orders made under the RTRA. The following provisions of the LLAA, with appropriate modifications in relation to the Olympic Games, will apply:

· Section 4 (penalty charges for traffic contraventions)

· Section 6 (limitation on service of penalty charge notices)

· Section 7 (disapplication of offences)

· Schedule 1 (penalty charge notices; representations etc) and

· Schedule 2 (penalty charge notices: financial provisions)

3.8 TfL supports the amendments proposed in Clause 7. Introducing the ability to deliver a comprehensive compliance strategy covering all possible contravention of traffic controls will serve to underpin the integrity of the ORN as a priority route and provide levels of assurance to the management of the ORN.

4. Restrictions on freight

4.1 Ensuring freight deliveries continue to take place in central London during the summer of 2012 will be crucial to the success of the Games and to keeping London moving. Many goods vehicle licences held by freight operators include an environmental restriction that constrains the hours of operation of their operating centres. While TfL is encouraging businesses in central London arrange for their deliveries to be done out of hours to avoid their deliveries being affected by the ORN, road events or other celebrations, freight operators may find themselves unable to comply both with these restrictions and those already placed on their licences.

4.2 TfL has urged the Department for Transport to consider amending the Bill to include a provision amending section 17(4) of the Goods Vehicle (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995 to allow Traffic Commissioners to temporarily suspend or amend licence conditions regulating the hours of operation of goods vehicle operating centres without the need to carry out a consultation. The provision would apply in the period leading up to, during and immediately after both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This would ensure businesses in London can continue to receive goods deliveries in Games time and permit freight operators to re-arrange deliveries to comply with Games restrictions without breaching their licence conditions.

May 2011