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Lord Brabazon of Tara: I had not intended to speak to this amendment, but I endorse entirely what the noble Baroness says. We start this section on transport at a late hour. I think that it is regrettable that we start so late. Nevertheless, the agreement has been reached that we should go a little way into it.

The Government have tabled an enormous number of amendments to this part of the Bill. They gave notice that they were going to do so, and have been helpful in writing to us explaining the purpose of the amendments. Nevertheless, large sections of the Bill are being almost completely rewritten in Committee. That will not help our considerations. It will mean that we have to do more work at the next stage. I give the Government warning that it will require more time at Report stage as a consequence.

Baroness Gardner of Parkes: I, too, am concerned that we are starting this section at this time of the evening, although I am quite bright and raring to go as I said nothing earlier. However, the Minister must be getting tired.

As regards the amendment, it is possible that "within" includes "across". If so, that is satisfactory. But one requires a comprehensive responsibility for the whole of London. Passengers have been inconvenienced with the chopped up, short bus routes which now exist. Many women, in particular if they have small children or heavy shopping, would rather wait longer for a bus that takes them their entire journey than wait in the rain and

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cold for a connection. Consideration should be given to improving the connection of transport throughout London.

Lord Berkeley: I had not intended to speak to this amendment. However, following the comments of the noble Lord, Lord Brabazon, and the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, when I first read the Bill it struck me also that there were few government amendments. Now that we have them, I welcome them as contributing to improving the Bill. I believe that the amendments have been tabled after listening to comments made by Members of all parties, and I welcome them. I do not necessarily agree with them all, but they contribute to the Bill's improvement. I look forward to some interesting, short and sweet debates on them.

11.30 p.m.

Lord Whitty: I thank my noble friend for those remarks. We consider that the amendments we tabled to this part of the Bill are appropriate and to a large extent address technical deficiencies or concerns expressed in another place and here informally. This is not a case of rewriting the Bill, as the noble Lord, Lord Brabazon, suggested. It is a case of turning the Bill into an effective document which meets a number of concerns.

As regards starting the subject at this hour of the night, as we proceed with the Bill it may be regarded as somewhat early. We must complete our consideration of the remaining nine parts; we have hitherto covered three parts.

As regards the amendment, I agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Gardner, that "to", "from" and "within" cover "across". I also agree with her about the problems of connection which must be addressed by the mayor of London. Most of those are "within" in the normal sense. As regards adding "across", I do not want to be too pedantic, but if one is travelling from Manchester to Brighton one will travel "to", "within" and "from" in the course of the journey. To add "across" merely adds an additional word. If one travels across London, entering and emerging in the same journey, that is covered by "to", "from" and "within".

Again, I do not want to be too pedantic, but I believe that the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, referred to the adjective when she meant the adverb. I believe that the adverbs meet the point and additional adverbs will not necessarily improve matters. I hope that, with that understanding, the noble Baroness will withdraw the amendment.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood: I believe that my noble friend was referring to the adjectives "safe" and "efficient". Those are adjectives. I am sure that her grammar is impeccable. She is, after all, a lawyer and she must know how her language operates. She cannot afford to make mistakes of that kind.

I hear what the Minister says in reply. I am sorry that he will not add "across", which seems to me to give a slightly different dimension. However, at this point I shall not press the amendment. I beg leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

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Baroness Thomas of Walliswood moved Amendment No. 243D:

Page 67, line 18, at end insert ("with the minimum adverse environmental impact").

The noble Baroness said: This is a simple amendment which provides that whatever is done in the transport strategy by the council authority should have,

    "minimum adverse environmental impact". That requires an ability, a wish and an intention to balance "goods" and "bads" against each other. For example, one can reduce traffic speed by rumble strips, but they will not have a minimum adverse environmental impact. On the contrary, in built-up areas they have a bad environmental impact.

We propose an additional encouragement to the mayor to ensure that she always bears in mind the balance which must be struck between benefits in this area. I beg to move.

Lord Whitty: I understand the concern which lies behind the amendment. I appreciate that not only the noble Baroness but others are concerned that it should be explicit. However, we argue that the Bill already provides for a regard to environmental duties within the transport strategy. The reason it is not explicit at every point is that in the interests of keeping this extremely large Bill within reasonable bounds and ensuring integration between environmental and transport issues we have covered that only in Clause 33.

That clause requires the mayor to do a number of things in drawing up or revising the transport strategy. First, he or she must have regard to the principal purposes of the authority, which include promoting the improvement of the environment in Greater London. Secondly, he or she must pay regard to the effects on health and the achievement of sustainable development. Thirdly, the mayor must ensure that all his or her strategies are consistent. This means making sure that the transport strategy and the various environmental strategies--on air quality, municipal waste management, bio-diversity and noise--all pull in the same direction. Fourthly, the mayor must ensure that the strategy is consistent with national policies and with any international obligations of which he or she has been notified. This means, therefore, that the mayor must take account of the national integrated transport strategy and national air quality and waste strategies in preparing his or her transport strategy for London.

The mayoral strategies will, of course, be the key vehicle through which the mayor will work. That is why Clause 33 expressly made clear the need for integration between transport and the environment. Therefore, we do not regard a repetition in this clause, which the amendment would provide, as necessary.

I hope that the noble Baronesses and those outside the Chamber who are concerned with this issue will accept those assurances and accept that Clause 33 meets the point.

Baroness Hamwee: As the Minister said, there are many outside this Chamber who have expressed concern about this issue. While I accept the intellectual argument

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that reading the Bill as a whole takes one back to the earlier clauses and the various matters raised there, it is a pity that the Government, who have not been short on words in the Bill, do not put down the important marker at the beginning of Part IV that those who are concerned with transport should look back and remind themselves of the environmental issues and duties.

I accept that the earlier provisions of the Bill will apply, but it would have been welcomed by those who wish to see improved transport if it had specifically been provided that regard should be had to environmental considerations, and a marker had been put down at the start of the biggest part of the Bill.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood: My noble friend has made the point well that we, and others, are trying to put important considerations up front so that they do not have to be constantly repeated in this part of the Bill. That is the object of some of the amendments. I do not know what people outside the Chamber will say about this, but for now I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood moved Amendment No. 243E:

Page 67, line 18, at end insert--
("( ) These policies shall achieve road traffic reduction targets set by the Mayor pursuant to this Part.
( ) The Mayor shall set road traffic targets for Greater London provided that any such targets shall not be less than those set by the London Planning Advisory Committee.").

The noble Baroness said: Here we come to a very different set of amendments. With Amendment No. 243E we are taking Amendment No. 245, in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Graham of Edmonton. He is not in his place, but, with the leave of the Committee, I propose to make some comments about that amendment.

In our amendment we suggest that the mayor should include in his transport policies traffic reduction targets. The targets should be at least as ambitious as the current targets under the LPAC. The amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Graham of Edmonton, would add a requirement for the transport strategy to contain progressive targets to reduce traffic volume. The two obviously go hand in hand.

When this was debated in another place, the response was that the mayor's policies had to be consistent with national policies and that because of government policy on road traffic reduction, it was not necessary. The Government's policy on road traffic reduction is that local authorities shall have road traffic reduction targets. The Government have not set a target for road traffic reduction. Therefore, it is not satisfactory to say that the matter is completely dealt with by national policy.

The question of the necessity for targets has been applied. The advantage is that, first, it gives the policy a direction. Secondly, it aids in the selection of the best tools to implement the policy. If there is a target which says that X must be achieved by Y, it is possible to assess the methods to be adopted as to their relative

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effectiveness in achieving that objective. Thirdly, it provides a method by which to test and measure progress.

Elsewhere in the early part of the transport section, there is a great deal about what is to happen if the local borough implementation plans are not successful. But unless targets are set to measure the success, it is difficult to know the level of success. That is why those targets are set.

I have had some experience of that. We set targets in the Surrey transport plan which is now many years old. It was one of the first in the country. I shall not say that the plan was brilliantly successful because we were experimenting in a world in which it was difficult to carry out such experiments. But certainly, the targets assisted us in measuring what we had achieved. I beg to move.

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