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Clause 74: Delegation of local authority functions

185.     This clause allows the Secretary of State to include provision in an order to make any function of a county council, unitary authority or metropolitan district council exercisable by:

  • an ITA; or

  • where an existing ITA is being dissolved or its boundary being contracted, a designated local transport authority.

186.     This power applies to such functions only in so far as they relate to the integrated transport area (or to a former such area), and only if the Secretary of State thinks it appropriate for the ITA or other authority to exercise that function.

Clause 75: Conferral of a power to direct

187.     This clause enables the Secretary of State to make an order which confers a power to direct on (i) an ITA, or (ii) where an existing ITA is being dissolved or its boundary being contracted, a designated local transport authority.

188.     Where the power to direct is conferred on it, an ITA or designated local transport authority would be able to issue a direction to a metropolitan district council, county council or unitary authority as to how the latter should exercise its functions as a local highways authority or local traffic authority. These powers include for instance the ability to install traffic management measures (such as bus lanes), traffic calming measures and the carrying out of maintenance works on their roads.

189.     Subsection (6) provides that such directions can apply controls in the case of specific roads or descriptions of roads (for instance, major bus routes). Subsection (7) makes clear that directions cannot apply to roads covered by concession agreements under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.

190.     Subsections (8) and (11) list the matters to which a direction can relate, which are:

  • the provision of information about the exercise of local highways authority or local traffic authority powers;

  • that the directed body must do certain things or obtain consent before using those powers;

  • imposing conditions on how the directed body can make use of its powers in a particular case;

  • that the directed body must not make use of certain of its powers in certain circumstances; and

  • that the directed body must make use of its powers in a specific case, provided that the directing authority meets the cost of compliance with that direction.

Clause 76: Contravention of an order under clause 75

191.     This clause provides that if a body to which the Secretary of State has granted the power to direct under clause 75 issues a direction to a local highway authority or local traffic authority and the authority to which the direction is issued fails to comply with it - for instance it fails to take the necessary action to enable a bus lane to be installed on one of its roads - then the authority which issued the direction can take the necessary steps to rectify matters. This includes the ability to take over the relevant powers of the directed authority for the purposes of putting matters right and to recoup the costs of doing so from that authority.

Clause 77: Changing the boundaries of an integrated transport area

192.     This clause allows the Secretary of State to make an order changing the boundary of an existing integrated transport area. This would enable the order to either add to or take away from an ITA area the whole of the area covered by:

  • a county council;

  • a shire district council;

  • a unitary authority; or

  • a metropolitan district council.

193.     Where the order removes an authority's territory from an ITA area, it must also designate an authority to take over as the local transport authority for that territory. The order may also transfer the former ITA's other functions - in so far as they relate to that territory - to that authority

Clause 78: Dissolution of an integrated transport area

194.     This clause allows the Secretary of State to make an order to dissolve an integrated transport area and abolish its ITA. However, where she does so the order must also designate one or more authorities - for instance the metropolitan district councils within the boundaries of the integrated transport area - to take over as the local transport authorities for the former area. The order may also transfer the former ITA's other functions to these authorities.

Clause 79: Orders under clauses 72 to 78

195.     This clause sets out several constraints on the Secretary of State's power to make orders under clauses 72 to 78, including:

  • before making the order she must consult representatives of the bodies listed under clauses 70(2) & 71(2) and any other person she considers relevant (subsection (4));

  • an order dissolving an ITA cannot be made unless a majority of the metropolitan district, county and unitary councils whose territory comprises that passenger transport area have agreed to the dissolution (subsection (6)); and

  • an order changing the boundary of an ITA area cannot be made unless each of the metropolitan district, county and unitary councils whose territory is either added to or excluded from that passenger transport area have agreed to the boundary change (subsection (8)).

Clause 80: Incidental etc. provision

196.     This clause provides that the Secretary of State may make such incidental, consequential, transitional or supplementary provision as she deems necessary in support of an order made under Chapter 2 of Part 5 of the Bill. For instance, the order could provide for the transfer of property and assets to an ITA in consequence of an order under clause 73 or 74 which has delegated certain functions to an ITA.

197.     Subsection (4) also allows the Secretary of State to make orders making such amendments, repeals or revocations to other primary and subordinate legislation as appear to her to be appropriate in consequence of making an order, for instance to reflect the fact that a new ITA has been established.

Clause 81: Procedure for orders under this Chapter

198.     This clause provides that any order made under Chapter 2 of Part 5 would be a statutory instrument and subject to affirmative resolution in each House of Parliament.

Clause 82: Further provision about directions

199.     This clause provides that directions given by the Secretary of State must be in writing. Their contents can also be varied or revoked by further directions.

Clause 83: Guidance

200.     This clause provides that the Secretary of State can issue guidance about anything which could be done by an authority under Chapter 2 of Part 5. Authorities must have regard to this guidance in carrying out their reviews.

Clause 84: Change of name of ITA

201.     This clause provides that an existing ITA can make a resolution to change its name. Subsection (2) sets out conditions which must be followed in making that resolution. The ITA must notify the Secretary of State that it has changed its name. The latter can also direct the ITA that it must publish this notification and in what manner.

Clause 85: Amendment of power to reorganise functions

202.     Section 42 of the Local Government Act 1985 allows the Secretary of State to make orders providing, amongst other things, for the dissolution of a passenger transport area or removing the territory of one or more metropolitan district councils from that passenger transport area. Clauses 77 and 78 provide revised powers to dissolve such transport areas or amend their boundaries. Given that, this clause repeals the provisions in the Local Government Act 1985.

Clause 86: Power to promote well-being

203.     ITAs operate within a framework laid down by statute. They have no powers to act other than where they are expressly or impliedly authorised by law to do so. There is a range of statutory duties which they are required to fulfil, and a wider range of permissive powers enabling them to undertake defined activities if they so wish.

204.     This clause provides ITAs with a power to take any steps which they consider likely to promote or improve the economic, social or environmental well-being of their local community. These powers have already been granted to local authorities by means of Part 1 of the Local Government Act 2000. This clause would allow ITAs to undertake a wide range of activities for the benefit of their local area and to improve the quality of life of local residents, businesses and those who commute to or visit the area.

205.     Subsection (3) provides that this power enables ITAs to work in partnership with other bodies. For example, it allows ITAs to assist other statutory bodies to discharge their functions, or to exercise those functions on their behalf. Subsections (6) and (7) enable an ITA to delegate its power to take action under these well-being powers to a PTE or other executive body created by an order under this Part.

Clause 87: Limits on power to promote well-being

206.     Subsection (1) limits the power established in clause 86 by preventing a ITA from taking any action that is prevented by a statutory prohibition, restriction or limitation. Subsection (2) prevents ITAs from using the well-being power in clause 86 to raise money. Subsection (3) allows the Secretary of State to prevent one or more ITAs from using the power to do anything which she specifies by order that they should not do, subject to the consultation requirements in subsection (5).

207.     Subsection (7) permits the Secretary of State to issue guidance to ITAs on the exercise of the power, subject to the consultation requirements in subsection (8). Subsection (10) provides that any order made under the preceding subsections will be a statutory instrument subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

Clause 88: Power to amend or repeal enactments

208.     Clause 86 provides ITAs with a broad power to act. They will be able to use the power except where there are specific prohibitions, restrictions or limitations in other legislation. Clause 88 allows the Secretary of State, by order, to amend, repeal, revoke or disapply any such enactment which obstructs ITAs from taking steps to promote the well-being of their areas. This power could be exercised in relation to one or more ITAs.

209.     Subsection (5) provides that any order made under subsection (1) is a statutory instrument subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

Clause 89: Procedure for orders under clause 88

210.     This clause sets out the procedure to be followed by the Secretary of State in making orders under clause 88. It provides for detailed scrutiny of any such orders. Before laying any orders, the Secretary of State is required to consult representatives of local government and others. The Secretary of State must make available to Parliament the results of that consultation, together with an explanation of the purpose of the order.

Part 6: Local and London charging schemes

Clause 90: Power of ITAs to make charging schemes

211.     This clause provides that a charging scheme under Part 3 of the TA 2000 may be made jointly by an ITA and one or more eligible local traffic authorities. An eligible local traffic authority is one which is either in the ITA's area, adjoins the ITA's area, or adjoins an area which adjoins the ITA area. Such a scheme is referred to as a "joint local-ITA charging scheme".

212.     The clause also allows a charging scheme to be made jointly between a ITA, one or more eligible local traffic authorities and one or more London traffic authorities. Such a scheme is referred to as a "joint ITA-London charging scheme".

213.     An ITA will not be able to make either a joint local-ITA charging scheme or a joint ITA-London charging scheme except jointly with at least one eligible local traffic authority.

214.     Because ITAs are established only in England, this clause and clauses 91 to 96 have no application to Wales.

Clause 91: Local charging schemes to implement policies of ITAs

215.     This clause amends section 164 of the TA 2000 so that a local charging scheme which is made by one local traffic authority acting alone, and which has effect wholly within an integrated transport area, can be made only if it directly or indirectly facilitates the achievement of the local transport policies of the ITA.

    *     Local transport policies are defined in section 108(5) of the TA 2000, inserted by clause 7, as explained above.

Clause 92: Joint local charging schemes to implement policies of ITAs

216.     This clause amends section 165 of the TA 2000 so that where a local charging scheme is made jointly by two or more local traffic authorities, and has effect wholly or partly within an integrated transport area, it can be made only if it directly or indirectly facilitates the achievement of the local transport policies of the charging authorities and the local transport policies of the ITA for that integrated transport area.

Clause 93: Joint local-ITA charging schemes

217.     This clause inserts a new section 165A in the TA 2000. This new section specifies that a joint local-ITA charging scheme can be made only in respect of roads for which any of the charging authorities is the traffic authority, and if at least one of the roads is within the integrated transport area of the relevant ITA.

218.     The new section 165A also provides that a joint local-ITA charging scheme can be made only if it directly or indirectly facilitates the achievement of the local transport policies of the charging authorities, including the ITA.

Clause 94: Joint local-London charging schemes to implement policies of ITAs

219.     This clause amends section 166 of the TA 2000 so that a joint local-London charging scheme that has effect partly within an integrated transport area may be made only if it directly or indirectly facilitates the achievement of the local transport policies of the charging authorities, including the local transport policies of the ITA, and the policies and proposals set out in the Mayor's transport strategy. As with the equivalent provision in section 165 as amended by clause 92, the last of these three requirements applies even though, in a joint local-London scheme, the ITA is (by definition) not a charging authority.

    *     A joint local-London charging scheme is a scheme that is made jointly by a non-metropolitan local traffic authority and a London traffic authority.

    *     The Mayor's transport strategy is the transport strategy prepared and published by the Mayor of London under section 142 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999.

Clause 95: Joint ITA-London charging schemes

220.     This clause inserts a new section 166A in the TA 2000. The new section specifies that a joint ITA-London charging scheme can be made only if:

  • all of the roads included within the scheme have one of the charging authorities as their traffic authority;

  • the scheme includes roads in relation to which a London traffic authority may impose a charge under Schedule 23 to the GLA Act 1999; and

  • at least one of the roads included within the scheme is within the integrated transport area of the relevant ITA.

221.     The new section 166A also provides that a local charging scheme may be made jointly by one or more local traffic authorities, an ITA and one or more London traffic authorities only if it directly or indirectly facilitates the achievement of the local transport policies of the charging authorities (which include the ITA), and the policies and proposals set out in the Mayor's transport strategy.

Clause 96: Consequential amendments

222.     This clause introduces Schedule 5, which makes consequential amendments resulting from the introduction of powers to allow ITAs to be party to a joint charging scheme. This includes provision for revenues from a scheme to be apportioned to the ITA.

Clause 97: Abolition of requirement for confirmation of English schemes

223.     This clause amends section 169 of the TA 2000, so as to remove the requirement for the Secretary of State to approve a local charging scheme in England.

224.     These amendments preserve the existing requirement in the TA 2000 for local charging schemes in Wales to be approved by the Welsh Ministers.

Clause 98: Abolition of power to require consultation or inquiries for English schemes

225.     This clause amends section 170 of the TA 2000. Its effect is to remove the power for the Secretary of State to hold an inquiry in relation to a proposed local scheme in England or to require a local authority to consult on a proposed charging scheme. It does not affect the existing powers, also contained in section 170, for local authorities to decide for themselves to consult on or hold inquiries into such schemes.

226.     The amendments also preserve the existing provisions in the TA 2000 for the Welsh Ministers to hold an inquiry into a local charging scheme in Wales, or to require a local authority to consult on such a scheme.

Clause 99: Charges

227.     This clause amends section 171(5) of the TA 2000 and paragraph 10(4) of Schedule 23 to the GLA Act 1999, which specify a number of examples of how a charging scheme can impose different charges for different cases.

228.     The amendments provide that, in addition to the cases already specified in each provision, local authorities may vary charges according to the methods or means of recording, administering, collecting or paying the charge. This could, for example, allow different rates to be applied where a road user chooses to have his charges recorded automatically by means of different technologies, or to pay by different means (such as a pre-pay account or direct debit).

Clause 100: Supplementary provision as to charging schemes

229.     Subsection (1) amends section 172 of the TA 2000. It allows the appropriate national authority by means of regulations to require schemes to provide that road users may choose to pay charges in a specific manner, and (where the road user so chooses) to require the charging authority to collect charges in a specified manner. It also enables the appropriate national authority to regulate any arrangements made by the charging authority with other schemes or with other third parties for charges to be paid and collected. Regulations made under this clause could, for example, make provisions so that a road user could register with one charging scheme, install any appropriate equipment and make arrangements for payment in a particular way. The road user could then choose for these arrangements also to apply to one or more additional charging schemes, so that all his payments were processed in that fashion.

230.     Subsection (7) makes equivalent provision in Schedule 23 to the GLA Act 1999, in relation to London.

231.     Subsections (3), (5) and (6) amend section 172 of the TA 2000 and Schedule 23 to the GLA Act 1999 so as to provide that a road in London may be made subject to charges by more than one charging authority at a time, provided the Greater London Authority has given its consent.

Clause 101: Suspension of charging schemes

232.     This clause inserts a new section 172A into the TA 2000, to allow for a charging authority to suspend the operation of a charging scheme, in whole or in part, where there is an emergency or to allow for a temporary event to take place. Subsection (2)(a) provides that the maximum possible duration of suspension in an emergency is 30 days. Where the suspension is to allow for a temporary event to take place, subsection (2)(b) means that the suspension can only be for the duration of the event and any time to set up before, and clear up after, the event. Subsection (3) details the respects in which a scheme may be partially suspended. Subsections (4) and (5) require that notice of any suspension must be published and detail what is required. Under subsection (6) the duration of a suspension in an emergency must be reviewed and may be altered.

Clause 102: Interference with functioning of equipment

233.     Subsection (1) amends section 173 of the TA 2000 to make it an offence to interfere with the functioning of any equipment used for, or in connection with, a charging scheme. Subsection (2) amends section 174 to allow the appropriate national authority to make regulations permitting the examination of a vehicle to determine whether the functioning of the equipment has been interfered with.

234.     Subsections (3) to (5) amend paragraphs 25 and 26 of Schedule 23 to the GLA Act 1999 to make similar provisions in relation to London.

Clause 103: Use of equipment for charging schemes

235.     Subsection (2) amends section 176 of the TA 2000 to allow the appropriate national authority in England and Wales to regulate the manner in which equipment installed as part of a charging scheme is used. This supplements the existing power to make regulations to approve standards for such equipment. Regulations made under the new section 176(2)(b) could, for example:

  • specify standard data formats so that equipment installed or provided by one charging scheme is compatible with similar equipment installed or provided by another;

  • specify unique numbering systems for items of equipment, to avoid duplication of identification numbers between different schemes; or

  • set common standards for data encryption and security.

236.     The effect of subsection (3) is to prevent the use of equipment in connection with a charging scheme other than in accordance with regulations made under the new section 176(2)(b).

237.     Subsections (4) to (8) amend paragraph 29 of Schedule 23 to the GLA Act 1999. The amendments to paragraph 29(1) allow the Greater London Authority to make directions relating to the use of equipment in connection with charging schemes made under that Act. The insertion of paragraph 29(3A) and (3B) allows the Secretary of State to give notice to the Greater London Authority that its directions regarding the use of equipment in connection with a charging scheme in London are incompatible with regulations made under the new section 176(2)(b) of the TA 2000, and that this incompatibility is detrimental to persons resident in England outside Greater London. It also provides that, where such notice has been given, the equipment may no longer be used in connection with a charging scheme except with the permission of the Secretary of State.

Clause 104: Power of national authority to require information from charging authorities

238.     Subsection (1) inserts a new section 177A in the TA 2000. The new section allows the appropriate national authority in England and Wales to require information from a local traffic authority or an ITA relating to an existing or proposed charging scheme. This information can be required in a specified period, and must be information that the authority have in their possession or can be expected to obtain.

239.     Subsection (2) inserts a new paragraph 34B in Schedule 23 to the GLA Act 1999. This new paragraph allows the Secretary of State to require information to be provided, under the same conditions, by Transport for London, a London borough council or the Greater London Authority.

Clause 105: Information: England and Wales

240.     Subsections (1) to (5) amend section 194 of the TA 2000.

241.     Section 194(1) currently allows the disclosure of information to charging authorities only in relation to existing schemes. The effect of the amendment to section 194(1) which is made by subsection (2) is to allow information obtained by Ministers, Government Departments, Welsh Ministers or a local authority also to be disclosed to a local traffic authority or ITA in relation to a proposed charging scheme. Subsection (3) makes a corresponding amendment to the power in section 194(2) for local traffic authorities and ITAs to use in relation to a proposed charging scheme information it has obtained from its exercise of other functions.

242.     Subsection (5) allows the Secretary of State or the Welsh Ministers to charge a reasonable fee for supplying information under section 194 of the TA 2000. Where the traffic authority or ITA has asked the Secretary of State to obtain information from registration authorities overseas, with a view to disclosing that information under subsections (1) and (3), the Secretary of State may charge a reasonable fee for obtaining that information or for seeking to obtain it.

243.     Subsections (6) to (9) make equivalent provision in paragraph 34A of Schedule 23 to the GLA Act 1999.

 
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Prepared: 8 November 2007