Memorandum from the Lord Chancellor's Department
THE ROAD USER CHARGING (ENFORCEMENT AND ADJUDICATION)
REGULATIONS 2001 (S.I. 2001/2313)
1. The Lord Chancellor's Department submits this
memorandum in response to the Committee's request dated 16 October
2001 on the following points:
(1) Explain how regulation 12(3)(d) is compatible
with regulation 4(4) of the Road User Charging (Charges and Penalty
Charges) (London) Regulations 2001 (S.I. 2001/2285), which
provides that a charging scheme shall specify the time and manner
in which a penalty charge is to be paid.
2. The Department accepts that these provisions are
not consistent. The wording in regulation 12(3)(d) will be amended
to provide that the penalty charge must be paid before the end
of the period specified in the charging scheme.
(2) Explain why regulation 13(1) does not
require representations to be made in writing but regulation 10(2)
does. If representations are made otherwise than in writing, explain
how the charging authority can provide a copy of them as required
by paragraph 3(2) of the Schedule.
3. It is highly likely that representations would
be made otherwise than in writing, the Department accepts that
it would have been preferable to provide for this expressly and
will amend the Regulations to achieve this.
(3) with regard to regulation 17
(a) explain how "the relevant period",
as defined is compatible with regulation 4(4)(b) of S.I. 2001/2285,
which states that a charging scheme may provide that the amount
of a penalty charge is to be increased by such proportion as may
be specified in the scheme if it is not duly paid within
such time and in such manner or circumstances as may be so specified;
4. The Department accepts that there is an inconsistency
between these two provisions. The definition of the "relevant
period" in regulation 17 will be amended to provide that
it is compatible with the period as specified in the charging
(b) explain how regulation 17(2)(b) is intended
to operate in a case where an appeal is made to the adjudicator
after the 28 days mentioned in regulation 16(1) have expired but
within a period allowed by an adjudicator under regulation 16(1)(b).
5. Regulation 16(2) contains powers for the adjudicator
to give directions to the charging authority. It is possible for
an extension to be granted after the 28 day period has expired.
It is intended that such directions could include procedural adjustments
necessary to reflect the consequences of the adjudicator allowing
a longer period for lodging an appeal, such as requiring a charging
authority to withdraw a charge certificate. This may have been
the intention of Parliamentary Counsel who drafted paragraphs
5 and 6 of Schedule 6 to the Road Traffic Act 1991 (c. 40) which
regulations 16 and 17 replicate.
(4) Given that, under regulation 4(4) of S.I.
2001/2285, a charging scheme need not provide for penalty charges
to be increased and that regulations 18 to 20 apply only where
an increased penalty charge has been imposed, explain how a penalty
charge which is not increased is to be enforced.
6. The Department accepts that the wording of regulation
18 only provides for enforcement of a charge certificate where
an increased penalty charge provided for in the certificate has
not been duly paid. The Department also agrees that the powers
which regulation 4(4) confers on charging authorities to raise
or reduce penalty charges are discretionary. Regulation 18 will
be amended to provide for the enforcement of all penalty charges,
whether increased or otherwise.
7. The Department apologises for the inconsistencies
and omission in the Regulations. There are at present no charging
schemes in force. The Department will amend the Regulations as
outlined above before any charging schemes are in force.
19 October 2001