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Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, I shall begin with the general question. The regulation-making powers in the Bill have been scrutinised by the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee. The committee made a number of recommendations in its report to your Lordships. All the committee's recommendations were accepted by the Government and appropriate amendments were made to the Bill in Grand Committee to give them effect.
The Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee did not consider it necessary that regulations to be made under Clause 70 should be subject to the affirmative procedure and nor do we. We do not propose to do that. The regulation-making power in Clause 70(4) enables consequential amendments to be made to Schedule 7 if subordinate legislation referred to in it is amended, replaced or revoked. For example, the House will recognise that traffic signs regulations are periodically updated. So, when new regulations are made in the future, a reference to the new regulations will have to be included at paragraph 9(2)(a) which presently refers to the 2002 regulations. We see no need for regulations under Clause 70(4), which will be concerned with technical changes to Schedule 7 consequent upon the passing of other subordinate legislation, to be subject to parliamentary approval. I hope that the noble Viscount will feel able to withdraw his amendment.
I imagine that the noble Viscount, in tabling his amendment, is less concerned about the particular question of parliamentary scrutiny and is more concerned about the extent to which we are able to allay his various anxieties. The noble Viscount was particularly concerned about regulations allowing the imposition of penalty charges for moving traffic contraventions. He will know that London authorities already have those powers by virtue of the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003. Use of those powers is now being piloted in
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London. I assure the House and the noble Viscount, Lord Astor, that we will have regard to the experience gained in London in framing regulations enabling civil enforcement of moving traffic contraventions by authorities outside London. There will of course be the normal public consultation on such regulations.
We could add to the regulations the moving traffic contraventions specified in paragraph 9 of Schedule 7, but that might not include endorsable offences such as speeding. We are seeking to keep clear of the offences that may lead to endorsement for anyone who has infringed. As the noble Viscount will recognise, and as he indicated in his own contribution, we regard the issue of moving traffic offences as an issue mainly for cameras, not officers, to identify. Given that officers are on foot and the offence is committed by a moving vehicle, it is not possible for them to take immediate action anyway. They may record the offence, but their recording of it is not likely to occur as frequently or readily as that done by cameras judiciously placed at box junctions and other places where such offences occur.
We are piloting the scheme in London and we will learn from that experience as to what can be introduced in regulations for the country as a whole. We bear in mind the noble Viscount's real anxieties, which he has expressed both in Committee and again today. I assure him that we have a ready-made pilot working at present, against the principle that I have adumbrated. On the whole, the issue of moving contraventions is for cameras rather than these officers.
Viscount Astor: My Lords, the Minister's answer was helpful, particularly in outlining that these offences will not be covered by endorsement. We all know that one can quite reasonably enter a box junction when there is a space on the other side, but, half way through, someone nicks that space. That happens. It is unfortunate and irritating because one gets stuck in the middle and it is rather embarrassing. But through no fault of one's own, it occasionally happens.
I am reassured that the Government are piloting the scheme. It is an important issue. With this extension of powers, we go back to saying that we are trying to produce effective traffic managementor "effective traffic movement", as the noble Lord, Lord Peyton, might refer to it. At the same time, however, we have to have rules that are not only fair and respected by the motorist but are seen to be fair; otherwise they are not going to work.
I am grateful for the Minister's answer. He has gone quite a long way in giving me the assurance that I require, but obviously I will have to consider the matter carefully. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
CYCLE LANE AND CYCLE TRACK CONTRAVENTIONS
The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 105 I should like to speak also to the other amendments in this group, including those of my noble friend Lord Davies of Oldham. Before I go into detail, however, I should like to thank my noble friend very sincerely for the constructive way in which his officials have been meeting the cycling groups. That has resulted not only in the government amendments in this group but also the amendments in the group starting with Amendment No. 122. Those are very welcome. They do not provide everything that was asked for, but you do not get everything that you want. It is good to see the Government taking such a proactive role in promoting and encouraging cycling and making cyclists feel not only wanted but also safe. I trust that my noble friend will send a copy of today's Hansard to the Royal Parks Agency, but I shall not mention that body again tonight.
Amendment No. 108 standing in my name contains a mistake for which I apologise. Amendment No. 107 standing in the name of my noble friend Lord Davies of Oldham is the correct version. I shall not move Amendment No. 108. I congratulate my noble friend on the drafting of Amendment No. 107.
Amendment No. 106 refers to buses and Amendment No. 107 concerns cycling. It seems to me that, having got this lovely list of cycling signs, there needs to be a preamble about cycle lane and cycle track contraventions in Schedule 7 to match the descriptions of parking contraventions (Part 1 of the schedule), bus lane contraventions (Part 2 of the schedule) and lorry ban contraventions (Part 3 of the schedule). As we have five signs with regard to cycling, it would be useful to have a section dealing with what they mean. That is the purpose of Amendment No. 105. If my noble friend accepts the principle of that, I should welcome his producing an appropriate amendmentI am sure that he will draft a better one than I canat Third Reading. It is clear that, if the relevant amendment is accepted, there would need to be a cross-reference in Clause 70 on page 43 to add another section to Schedule 7. In principle, I am very grateful
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to my noble friend for all the amendments on cycling. I offer my Amendment No. 105 as a contribution to clarity. I beg to move.
Lord Rotherwick: My Lords, we welcome the fact that the Government listen to the concerns highlighted by the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley. However, at the same time we have concerns regarding this issue that we spoke of in Committee. I may be considered biased when I say that cyclists are very importantthe Minister and I are both cyclistsbut I can say with authority that considerable good will is shown towards cyclists on the part of other road users. However, I feel the need to raise the flag of caution once again. By accepting these amendments we would set up another barrier between cyclists and car owners, which may not make the latter so amicable on the whole towards cyclists.
There is also the issue of privilege and responsibility. While these amendments would help to protect the privileges of cyclists on the road, there should also be a balance of responsibility; otherwise, we shall lose the good will of car drivers.
Cyclists can often be seen jumping red lights and cycling on pavements, although I have to say that I have not seen the latter activity recently. They can also be seen ignoring other road regulations that all other traffic has to comply with. Are these offences also subject to civil enforcement? What steps is the department taking to ensure that offenders are penalised just as those car owners who stray into cycle boxes or lanes will be penalised under these changes? Can the Minister give comfort to cyclists that in awarding privileges he will highlight the responsibilities that go hand-in-hand with them? What is the estimate of the costs of enforcing the amendments of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley? Who would be responsible for enforcement?
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