Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Twentieth Report



Government amendments for Committee stage


1. DETR provided a Memorandum to the Committee on 22 May 2000 explaining the purpose etc of delegated legislation contained in the Transport Bill which was introduced into the House of Lords on 12 May 2000.

2. The Government has tabled certain amendments to the Bill for consideration at Committee stage of the Bill, some of which contain delegated powers. These are:

  • the extent to which Part I of the Bill applies to the Crown (paragraph 6);
  • existing bus Quality Partnership schemes (paragraphs 7 to 9);
  • accessibility for disabled people to substitute rail services (17 to 19).

3. The Government also intends to table a new clause to enable local authorities outside London to enforce moving bus lane offences (paragraphs 10 to 16).

4. This Supplementary Memorandum explains the purpose of the relevant powers contained in those amendments, the reason why the provision is to be dealt with by delegated legislation, and the nature of, and reason for, the procedure selected.

5. Copies of the amendments are attached.

Crown Application - aircraft belonging to or exclusively in the service of Her Majesty

6. The new clause [Crown application] outlines the extent to which Part I of the Bill applies to the Crown. The relevant section is subsection (3), which provides that Her Majesty may by Order in Council apply the provisions in Chapter IV (except section 75), to any aircraft belonging to or exclusively employed in the service of Her Majesty. The relevant Chapter IV provisions relate to charges for air traffic services. This provision broadly replicates clause 101 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 - power to apply certain provisions to Crown aircraft. This Order will not be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

Existing bus Quality Partnership schemes

7. New clause [Regulations about schemes involving existing facilities] is being introduced as part of a package of Government amendments in the Lords to enable local authorities to include, in a Quality Partnership scheme, facilities already in existence before the scheme is proposed. This increased flexibility could be particularly helpful in the case of facilities, such as new bus lanes, provided by local authorities within the last few years, perhaps as part of an informal 'partnership' arrangement with bus operators. The amendments will ensure that such existing facilities will not fall outside the scope of the Bill. But the power will be subject to important safeguards, including - by virtue of the amendment inserting a new subsection (3A) in clause 104 - the requirement that both QP scheme facilities and the standards to which bus services are to be provided must lead to an improvement in the quality of local services (by bringing benefits to users) or to a reduction or limitation in congestion or pollution.

8. The new clause provides for the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales to make further provision, by regulations, with respect to existing facilities, including:

  • prescribing maximum time limits within which the existing facilities must have been provided. We envisage this would be a relatively short period - perhaps 2 or 3 years prior to the scheme being proposed - in order to exclude facilities that may have been provided some considerable time ago. But we would want to seek views from the key parties to ensure that an appropriate period is provided for;
  • specifying limitations or exclusions on authorities' power to include certain categories of existing facility, or in some cases requiring the consent of the operators or others to their inclusion. Again, we would want to be guided by the views of the key stakeholders, who would be consulted on any regulations; and
  • modifying any of the procedural provisions in clauses 105 to 107, for example to require additional consultation requirements.

9. Regulations would be subject to negative resolution procedure by virtue of clause 148.

Bus Lane Enforcement

10. London Boroughs have camera enforcement powers under the London Local Authorities Act 1996 to enforce moving bus lane offences and the purpose of this amendment is to provide local authorities outside London with similar powers. It provides that only local authorities with decriminalised parking enforcement powers under the Road Traffic Act 1991 will be able to apply for powers to enforce moving bus lane contraventions.

11. The new clause [Civil Penalties for bus lane contraventions] provides for the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales to make regulations in connection with:

  • Allowing approved local authorities to impose penalty charges for moving bus lane contraventions;
  • the payment of penalty charges.

12. The new clause also provides that regulations may make provision for matters such as setting the levels of penalty charges, specifying the person responsible for paying the penalty charge, specifying exemptions from penalty charges, making provision for the application of sums received from penalty charges, and for the keeping of accounts relating to the revenue received from penalty charges.

13. The Lord Chancellor will also have powers to make regulations about the notification, adjudication and enforcement of penalty charges. This is to ensure that the same requirements apply in England and Wales.

14. The new clause does not give local authorities the power to stop vehicles.

15. As the new clause does not remove the power of the police to enforce moving traffic offences, it has been necessary to provide in the amendment that motorists should not be subject to double jeopardy and prosecution by the police and local authority for the same offence or contravention.

16. The regulations would be subject to negative resolution procedure by virtue of clause 148.

Substitute services for the disabled

17. New clause [Substitute services to be suitable for disabled passengers] is designed to ensure that, where substitutes are provided in place of railway services, the substitute will be suitable for passengers with mobility problems. Substitute services are required where planned works require an alteration to a service, perhaps because a track or other facilities have been closed, and where there is an unplanned problem such as a breakdown. The new clause covers any passenger with mobility problems, whether permanent or temporary.

18. The new clause will cover train operators and the SRA, should it be securing the provision of trains.

19. Subsection (4) of the new clause allows the Secretary of State to exempt persons of any class or description, or a specific person, from the new duty to make substitute services accessible for disabled passengers. The exemption would be made by order subject to a negative resolution procedure. This is consistent with other exemption powers for railways. The power would only be used in limited cases; one example might be to exempt heritage railways.

June 2000

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