House of Lords - Explanatory Note
House of Lords
Session 1998-99
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Road Traffic Regulation (Cycle Parking) Bill [H.L.]


These notes refer to the Road Traffic Regulation (Cycle Parking) Bill [H.L.]
as introduced in the House of Lords on 30th March 1999 (HL Bill 43)

Road Traffic Regulation (Cycle Parking) Bill [H.L.]



1.     These explanatory notes relate to the Road Traffic Regulation (Cycle Parking) Bill [H.L.] as introduced in the House of Lords on 30th March 1999. They have been provided by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions with the consent of Lord Rotherwick, the Peer in charge of the Bill, in order to assist the reader of the Bill and to help inform debate on it. They do not form part of the Bill and have not been endorsed by Parliament.

2.     The notes need to be read in conjunction with the Bill. They are not, and are not meant to be, a comprehensive description of the Bill. So where a clause or part of a clause does not seem to require any explanation or comment, none is given.


3.     The Bill modifies section 63 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 ("the 1984 Act") so as to permit the provision of stands and racks for motor cycles as well as for pedal cycles and to permit the provision of devices for securing motor cycles or pedal cycles.


4.     Section 63 of the 1984 Act states that—

    "the powers of any authority under this Act to provide parking places shall extend to providing, in roads or elsewhere, stands and racks for bicycles".

There are several provisions in the 1984 Act that confer powers on local authorities and other authorities responsible for roads to provide parking facilities on the roads or elsewhere. Section 63 of the 1984 Act extends the powers of authorities to provide such facilities to include the provision of stands and racks for bicycles both in on-street and off-street parking places. The word "bicycle" normally means a pedal cycle. The Bill amends section 63 so as to apply it to motor cycles as it applies to bicycles.

5.     The Bill also gives powers to authorities to provide devices for securing bicycles or motor cycles. The purpose of stands or racks is to enable a bicycle to be held in a stable upright position whilst it is parked. Motor cycles are usually equipped with a device for this purpose. However, motor cycles are vulnerable to theft by persons who can lift the whole vehicle and remove it in a van or lorry. The Bill thus provides for devices that secure motor cycles. As well as racks or stands, these devices could be in the form of a bar to which a motor cycle could be chained or tethered.


6.     Clause 1(2) amends section 63 of the 1984 Act so that it will read as follows:

    "The powers of any authority under this Act to provide parking places shall extend to providing, in roads or elsewhere, stands or racks for, or devices for securing, bicycles or motor cycles."

7.     Clause 1(3) ensures that the definition of "motor cycle" in section 136(4) of the 1984 Act does not apply to the reference to "motor cycle" in section 63.

  • Motor cycle is defined in section 136(4) as "a mechanically propelled vehicle (not being an invalid carriage) with fewer than 4 wheels, of which the weight unladen does not exceed 410 kilograms".


8.     The effect of this Bill would be a very small enlargement of the existing powers of authorities with regard to parking places. The new powers would be discretionary and there would be no obligation on authorities to exercise them.

9.     The Bill could at most result in a very small increase in the expenditure of local authorities on the provision of parking places. Whether stands, racks or securing devices are provided in off-street or on-street parking places, the local authority could recover their costs by charging users.

10.     If local authorities decided not to charge for parking facilities, funding of local authority expenditure would be provided from a combination of the council tax, the redistribution of the national business rate, grants from Central Government, charges for services and other revenue.

11.     The total expenditure of local authorities in consequence of the Bill is likely to be minimal and of other authorities to be at most negligible.


12.     None are expected.


13.     A regulatory impact assessment has not been prepared. The Bill would have a negligible impact on businesses, charities and voluntary bodies. Even if local authorities decide to charge users for secure parking facilities for motor cyclists, any cost to businesses and motor cyclists is likely to be balanced by the benefits of improved parking security.


14. The Bill will come into force in England and Wales two months after the day on which it receives Royal Assent and will come into force in Scotland by Commencement Order. Clause 2(3) is intended to ensure that the power to make the commencement order will, if unexercised, devolve to the Scottish Ministers by virtue of section 53 of the Scotland Act 1998.

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Prepared: 31 March 1999