Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Lord Swinfen: These provisions amend the detailed requirements for quality partnership schemes, to bring benefit to people using the services. In addition, reference is made to the need for consultation in the schemes.

There seem to be two drawbacks to the current wording. First, the benefits should be such as to be enjoyed by people not currently using the service--

27 Jun 2000 : Column CWH22

primarily because of one form of disability or another--but who would like to be able to use the service. Secondly, the requirements for consultation should also extend to people who are not using or cannot use the service at the time, as it would be desirable for quality partnership schemes to be used to widen the use of public transport, such as buses.

Lord Bradshaw: I welcome what the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, has said about this change, which is in response to representations received from local government. I hope that we might take it as a precedent and that many other representations that we shall make, which have come to us from local government, will receive equally favourable consideration.

I ask particularly that the existing quality partnership schemes, of which--as the Minister said--there are many, will under Clause 108 enjoy no lesser status or protection than the new quality partnership schemes, save that they may have to be improved. We want to believe that the existing schemes are not second class in the consideration of the Government or in the eyes of this Bill and the law, should this Bill become law.

Lord Whitty: In response to the first question, it is clear that the inclusion of existing facilities--and, indeed, the whole question of quality partnerships--is based on the improvement of the service. This includes the extension of the service and therefore must include its extension for the use of those who cannot currently, for one reason or another, enjoy the service. That would clearly cover improvements made to ensure that disabled people or others, who previously had not been able to use the service, can now do so. As far as the consultation provisions on that are concerned, the general provisions on consultation will certainly allow consultation with the representatives of disabled people in the locality. Thus, that point is already covered. In relation to the comment of the noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw, we always take seriously representations from local authorities. However, I cannot give him the 100 per cent guarantee he seeks on that matter.

As regards existing quality partnerships, if they wish to move into the statutory quality partnership arena, they will have the same status as the new partnerships. There may be some quality partnerships that will not be statutorily based. It is hoped that they will have the same effect locally but there will not be the statutory backing for those particular arrangements between the operator and the authority.

4.45 p.m.

Lord Peyton of Yeovil: Will the Minister be kind enough to say how many authorities are involved? There seems to be a legion of them and here we are dealing particularly with the appropriate national authority. I have very little idea as to which is the appropriate national authority in that context.

Lord Whitty: When I use the term "authority" in this context, I refer to the local authority, in most contexts

27 Jun 2000 : Column CWH23

the local highways authority and, in certain circumstances, there may be lower level authorities which enter into such agreements. However, principally I am referring to the highways authority. I believe I am right in saying that there are about 100 such agreements either in existence or in the process of being agreed on a voluntary basis. We shall need to see how many of those will transfer to a statutory basis. But this provision will provide statutory backing for that kind of arrangement between the operator and the local highway authority.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendments No. 57 and 58:

    Page 64, line 10, at end insert--

("(3A) The authority or authorities must be satisfied that both the provision of those facilities and the provision of local services of that standard will--
(a) improve the quality of local services provided in the whole or any part of their area, or combined area, by bringing benefits to persons using those services, or
(b) reduce or limit traffic congestion, noise or air pollution.
(3B) A quality partnership scheme may not be made unless the authority or authorities have complied with the notice and consultation requirements imposed by section 105.").

    Page 64, line 45, leave out ("(2) and (3)") and insert ("(3) and (3B)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 104, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 105 [Notice and consultation requirements]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 59:

    Page 65, line 13, leave out ("proposed").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 105, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 106 to 108 agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 60:

    After Clause 108, insert the following new clause--

(".--(1) The appropriate national authority may by regulations make provision about the specifying in quality partnership schemes of facilities which are already being provided before the schemes are proposed ("existing facilities").
(2) The regulations may in particular--
(a) provide that existing facilities may not be specified if they were being provided before a date prescribed by, or determined in accordance with, the regulations,
(b) provide that particular existing facilities or classes of existing facilities may not be specified (whenever they were first provided),
(c) provide that particular existing facilities or classes of existing facilities may be specified only in circumstances prescribed by the regulations,
(d) provide that, in circumstances prescribed by the regulations, particular existing facilities or classes of existing facilities may be specified only with the consent of a person prescribed by, or determined in accordance with, the regulations, and
(e) make provision modifying any provision of sections 105 to 107 in relation to schemes which specify existing facilities.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

27 Jun 2000 : Column CWH24

Clause 109 agreed to.

Clause 110 [Variation: supplementary]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 61 and 62:

    Page 68, line 6, leave out ("that in section 104(1))") and insert ("those in section 104(1) and (3A))").

    Page 68, line 27, leave out ("(3)") and insert ("(3B)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 110, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 111 to 123 agreed to.

Clause 124 [Joint and through ticketing schemes for buses]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 63:

    Page 77, line 4, leave out from ("tickets)") to end of line 14 and insert ("of any of the descriptions which may by covered by a ticketing scheme and to which the scheme applies.

(3A) The descriptions of tickets which may be covered by a ticketing scheme are--
(a) tickets entitling the holder to make more than one journey on particular local services or on local services of a class specified in the scheme (whether or not operated by the same person),
(b) tickets entitling the holder to make a particular journey on two or more local services (whether or not operated by the same person),
(c) where a particular journey could be made on local services provided by any of two or more operators, tickets entitling the holder to make the journey on whichever service the holder chooses, and
(d) tickets entitling the holder to make a journey, or more than one journey, involving both travel on one or more local services and travel by one or more connecting rail or tram services.
(3B) A connecting rail or tram service, in relation to a ticketing scheme, is a service for the carriage of passengers by railway or by tramway (or by both) which runs between--
(a) a station or stopping place at or in the vicinity of which local services stop and which serves any part of the area to which the ticketing scheme relates, and
(b) any other place.
(3C) Different arrangements may be specified in a ticketing scheme for different cases.").

The noble Lord said: In moving Amendment No. 63 I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 64, 65, 66, 83, 84 and 86. The main purpose of these amendments is to extend through ticketing schemes for buses under Clause 124 of the Bill to include bus/train and bus/tram ticketing. In this we are responding to suggestions that that would be a valuable addition and serve to strengthen the integrated nature of the Bill.

Amendment No. 63 introduces substitute provisions in place of subsections (3)(a) to (c) and subsection (4) of Clause 124. The key addition is the new paragraph (d), which allows ticketing schemes to extend to buses and "connecting rail or tram services". These are defined in the new subsection (3B). The definition is deliberately broad. It speaks of rail or tram services which run between a station or tram stop where, or near where, local buses stop, and which serves any part of the area to which the ticketing scheme applies, and any other place. So a ticketing scheme can include train or tram services which may be just outside the boundary of the authority making

27 Jun 2000 : Column CWH25

the scheme, if they provide connecting services with local buses. In short, the pattern of travel connections is more important than the administrative boundary of the scheme-making authority.

Amendment No. 64 introduces an important caveat. Ticketing schemes cannot include train or tram operators unless they have given their consent. There are good reasons for that. In the case of train operators, the position is that rail franchise agreements already require them to participate in multi-modal ticketing schemes proposed by a relevant local authority, as long as the franchising director (in future, the Strategic Rail Authority) has approved, and provided that participation is at no net cost to the train operator. The main benefit of this amendment, therefore, will be to ensure that once such arrangements are in place, local bus operators can be obliged to participate.

Similarly participation by tram operators is to be subject to their agreement. Many tram operators already offer multi-modal ticketing, and some have specific clauses in their concession agreements in that respect. The Bill deliberately does not seek to override those. But, again, it will mean that bus operators can be bound into a bus/tram scheme that the tram operator has agreed.

Amendment No. 65 adds the Strategic Rail Authority to the bodies to be notified of a ticketing scheme under Clause 126. Amendments Nos. 84 and 86 provide for definitions in Clause 150, and Amendment No. 83 amends a drafting error to ensure that the definition of "national authority" in Clause 150 also applies to Clause 126, which contains regulations about ticketing schemes.

I hope that these amendments will be welcomed as a further demonstration of our desire for integrated transport. I beg to move.

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page