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Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure until 8.45 p.m.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 8.35 to 8.45 p.m.]

Greater London Authority Bill

House again in Committee.

Clause 212 [Transport for London to be the traffic authority for GLA roads]:

[Amendments Nos. 297YA and 297ZA not moved.]

Clause 212 agreed to.

Clauses 213 and 214 agreed to.

Clause 215 [Transfer of London Traffic Control System to Transport for London]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment 297A:

Page 116, line 34, leave out subsections (3) to (7).

The noble Lord said: This is a simple amendment. The clause transfers to Transport for London from the Secretary of State London's traffic signals system for all roads in Greater London other than trunk roads.

The amendment removes specific provision for the transfer of property rights and liabilities of the traffic control systems unit. Such transfers will, instead, be effected under the general provision on such matters under Part XII of the Bill. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 215, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 216 agreed to.

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Clause 217 [Transfer of traffic control systems between Secretary of State and Transport for London]:

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood moved Amendment No. 297B:

Page 118, line 30, after ("and") insert ("the Authority, through").

The noble Baroness said: I rise to move the amendment standing in the name of my noble friend Lady Hamwee. Amendments Nos. 297B to 297E form a series which in effect join the authority and Transport for London, acting as a subsidiary of the authority, in the rather curious Clause 217, which allows traffic control systems to be transferred to and from the Secretary of State and Transport for London. The point that we want to make is that the Secretary of State is a responsible political officer and Transport for London is not a political organisation. It would be more appropriate if transfer was officially to the authority rather than to Transport for London.

The more one reads the clause, the odder it becomes. Clause 215 already says that all the traffic control systems, in so far as they relate to GLA roads and roads in Greater London which are neither GLA roads nor trunk roads, will be transferred as part of the operation of the Bill. I am not sure under what circumstances the Secretary of State on the one hand and the authority, via Transport for London, on the other, can move or needs to move the powers to and from, or between each of them.

This is an amendment to Sections 74 and 74A--Clause 216 of the Bill. All those parts of the Bill are amendments to the same part of the Road Traffic Act. I am becoming more and more confused as to why powers which are transferred under Clause 215 are then transferred to and from the bodies again at some later date. We did not like the idea that Transport for London should be the transferee or transferor of the powers; it should be the authority acting through Transport for London. However, I am becoming more and more confused about the matter. I hope that I shall receive elucidation of the broader issue when I receive a reply on the narrower one. I beg to move.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: Clause 217 allows Transport for London, with the Secretary of State's agreement, to make schemes transferring all or part of the London traffic control systems from one to the other. Amendments Nos. 297B, 297C, 297D and 297E would mean that instead of TfL exercising the power to make schemes, the GLA, acting through TfL, would have that power. TfL is under the direction of the mayor and it is the mayor who provides that democratic and political input.

We keep returning to the issue of TfL's functions in respect of the role of the GLA. TfL is not to be closely monitored, supervised and nursed by the GLA because TfL is simply the mayor's transport executive. As well as its many other important functions, TfL will be the highway and traffic authority for GLA roads--those designated by the GLA.

I am sure that the noble Baroness will agree that in that capacity it is quite capable of dealing directly with the Secretary of State over London's traffic control

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systems. In asking the noble Baroness to withdraw her amendment, I was hoping to give her a detailed analysis of the circumstances in which the power will be used, which is extremely important to the functioning of TfL and for ensuring the smooth running of the traffic systems. However, I find myself unable to do that. I am sure it will assist the noble Baroness if I offer to write to her in order to ensure that she has the fullest possible information before we come to the next stage of the Bill.

I am now able to provide further information. TfL and the Secretary of State may need to agree changes in respect of traffic signals on motorways or trunk roads which remain with the Secretary of State. So there is an interchangeability of the roads. I hope that the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw her amendment.

Lord Brabazon of Tara: Before the noble Baroness, Lady Thomas, decides what to do, perhaps I may say that at present I understand that the traffic control systems are run by the City of London. They are not run from the City of London, but from Smith Square. With other noble Lords, I had the pleasure of visiting the site and seeing the excellent job being done there. I hope that nothing in the Bill would prevent that working as well as at present.

The boroughs have raised concern about the traffic control systems. Therefore I hope the Minister will give me and the noble Baroness, Lady Thomas, copies of correspondence. I wish to consider the matter before we reach the next stage.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: I can say with delight and speed that I shall send a copy to the noble Lord.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood: I admire the skill with which the Minister kept her response to me going until help and the cavalry arrived. I feel for her in her predicament; it is a difficult clause to follow and to link with the rest of the Bill. However, I have heard what she said and look forward to the letter she will write to us. I am glad she will send a copy to the noble Lord, Lord Brabazon. Meanwhile, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 297C to 297E not moved.]

Clause 217 agreed to.

Clause 218 agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 297F:

After Clause 218, insert the following new clause--


(" .--(1) Section 39 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (powers of Secretary of State and local authorities as to giving road safety information and training) shall be amended as follows.

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(2) For subsection (2) (duty of local authority to prepare and carry out measures to promote road safety etc) there shall be substituted--
"(2) Each relevant authority--
(a) if it is a local authority, must prepare and carry out a programme of measures designed to promote road safety, or
(b) if it is Transport for London, may prepare and carry out such a programme,
and may contribute towards the cost of measures for promoting road safety taken by other authorities or bodies."
(3) In subsection (3) (duty of local authority to carry out and act upon studies into accidents arising out of the use of vehicles on roads in their area, other than trunk roads) for the words preceding paragraph (a) there shall be substituted "Each relevant authority--".
(4) In paragraph (a) of that subsection (the duty to carry out the studies)--
(a) after "use of vehicles" there shall be inserted--
"(i) if it is a local authority,";
(b) after "other than" there shall be inserted "GLA roads or"; and
(c) at the end there shall be added "or
(ii) if it is Transport for London, on GLA roads or parts of GLA roads,".
(5) After subsection (3) there shall be inserted--
"(3A) The duties imposed by subsection (3) above are without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2) above and--
(a) in the case of a local authority, are to be discharged in pursuance of their duty under subsection (2)(a) above; and
(b) in the case of Transport for London, are to be discharged by exercising their powers under subsection (2)(b) above."
(6) In subsection (4) (definitions) the following definitions shall be inserted at the appropriate places--
""GLA road" has the same meaning as in the Highways Act 1980 (see sections 329(1) and 14D(1) of that Act);";
""relevant authority" means a local authority or Transport for London;".").

The noble Lord said: The amendment deals with road safety. Today one or two people asked me what insignia I am wearing; it relates to National Road Safety Week which I launched this morning with the organisation Brake.

The amendment seeks to provide Transport for London with appropriate powers and duties in respect of road safety. As the Committee will know, at present road safety powers rest with local authorities. TfL is clearly not a local authority. If the Bill were not amended, then TfL, as the highway and traffic authority for GLA roads, would have no locus over road safety or on GLA roads within the capital. That must be remedied and Amendment No. 297F does that by amending Section 39 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The aim is to leave London boroughs with their existing duty to promote road safety and deal with road safety issues on borough roads. It is also to provide TfL with the power

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to promote road safety measures and a duty to deal with road safety issues on its own GLA roads. I commend the amendment to the Committee.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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