LONDON LOCAL AUTHORITIES
AND TRANSPORT FOR LONDON (No. 2) BILL [HL]|
1. The London Local Authorities and Transport
for London (No. 2) Bill was introduced into the House of Lords
on 22 January 2008 and given a Second Reading on 20 February 2008.
It is promoted by Westminster City Council on behalf of all 33
London Boroughs, including the Corporation of the City of London.
When the Bill was introduced, however, only 32 of the Borough
Councils had passed the necessary resolution. In order to ensure
that the Bill covered the whole of London, the promoters deposited
a 'petition for additional provision' on 7 May 2008 to extend
the provisions of the Bill to the area of Hounslow Borough Council.
No petitions were presented against the additional provision.
The House of Lords Standing Orders (Private Bills) Committee and
the House of Commons Standing Orders (Private Bills) Committee
both met on 16 June 2008 and agreed to dispense with the Standing
Orders not complied with in respect of the petition for additional
provision. The Bill was subsequently carried over from the 2007-08
Session to the current 2008-09 Session.
2. The Bill covers a wide range of issues relating
to traffic and highways matters in London. The provisions of the
Bill are described in the explanatory memorandum which is attached
to the Bill. Those directly
or especially affected by the Bill had an opportunity to voice
their objections by presenting a petition against the Bill. The
House received three such petitions, one of which was withdrawn
before the Committee met.
3. The House also received two reports from Government
Departments in relation to the Bill. The first, submitted on 21
January 2008 by the Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP, Minister of
State, Department for Transport, stated that, in the Minister's
opinion, the promoters had failed to undertake an adequate assessment
of the compatibility of their proposals with the European Convention
on Human Rights in respect of Clauses 14, 15 and 24. The second
report, deposited on 18 February 2009, set out the
Government's opposition to Clauses 26, 27, 32 and 33 and commented
on several other Clauses.2
4. The Select Committee on the Bill was appointed
on 15 January 2009 to consider the matters complained of in the
petitions. On 23 February, the Chairman of Committees reported
to the House that the Select Committee should also consider the
unopposed clauses. The members of the Committee were: Lord Dahrendorf,
Lord Faulkner of Worcester (Chairman), Baroness Fookes, Baroness
McIntosh of Hudnall and Lord Methuen.
5. The Committee first met on 9 March 2009 and
sat for three days to hear evidence and submissions from the promoters,
the petitioners and the Government.
6. The Clauses considered by the Committee, together
with the petitioners who appeared on each Clause, and a list of
the applicable Government Departmental reports, are set out in
Appendix 1. The promoters withdrew Clauses 28-30. A complete list
of the amendments made to the Bill is set out in Appendix 2.
7. In the discussion of each provision below,
"petitioners" refers to those who appeared in respect
of each Clause as set out in Appendix 1. Only an outline of some
of the principal arguments in respect of each provision is given
in this report; the full transcript of proceedings before the
Committee is available on the internet.
Items deposited on the Highway: Part 2
8. Part 2 of the Bill deals with items deposited
on the highway; it would give highway authorities in London new
powers to remove and dispose of such items in certain cases. There
are already a variety of provisions related to the removal of
items from the highway, three of which were brought to the Committee's
attention. First, section 149 of the Highways Act 1980 provides
for the removal of objects deposited on the highway that constitute
a nuisance or a danger. Second, section 137 of the Highways Act
1980 makes it an offence for a person, without lawful authority
or excuse, in any way to wilfully obstruct the free passage along
a highway; and section 137ZA provides for the court to order the
offender to remove the cause of the obstruction. Third, section
6 of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 makes provision about
the removal of abandoned items.
9. Part 2 would allow an authorised officer (as
defined in Clause 5) to remove an item from the highway and serve
a notice on the person who it is believed deposited it on the
highway. If the authorised officer is unable to identify the person,
then the notice must be affixed in a conspicuous place near where
the item was removed. The promoters produced a draft code of practice
about how the powers in Part 2 would be used and said that the
code would be backed up with training, as they had provided when
parking enforcement powers had transferred from the police to
10. The promoters submitted that, despite the
existing provisions, items deposited on the highway constituted
a clear problem and so the powers sought were necessary. They
said that the existing powers were onerous and difficult to exercise
and in practice, therefore, not very much used.
11. The petitioners submitted that it was right
that only the police had the power to remove items from the highway;
that the Bill would mean that cyclists would not know with reasonable
certainty where or when they could park their bike; and that the
promoters had failed to provide evidence that there was a serious
problem that the Part would address.
THE COMMITTEE'S CONCLUSION ON PART 2
12. The Committee decided that Part 2 of the
Bill should not proceed.
Attachment of street lamps and signs to buildings:
Clauses 15 and 16
13. Clauses 15 and 16 would give local authorities
in London the power to attach signs and street lamps to buildings
without having to gain the owner's consent.
14. The promoters drew the Committee's attention
to the fact that those powers already existed in the City of London
and that the London boroughs already had the power to attach street
names to buildings without the owner's consent.
15. The promoters submitted that the new powers
would help to de-clutter streets by allowing the removal of parking
signs and street poles. They submitted that the current requirement
for consent was overly onerous: people tended not to reply to
letters, and it was difficult to get consent from every owner
along a street.
16. The Clauses were not opposed by petition,
but they were the subject of a report from the Government. The
Government submitted that the promoters had failed to undertake
an adequate assessment of the compatibility of Clause 15 with
the European Convention on Human Rights. The Bill did not sufficiently
compensate for the removal of the right to have the proposed affixation
of a sign or lamp considered by an independent tribunal.
17. The promoters submitted that the powers were
compatible with the Convention. They drew attention to subsection
15(3), which provides that an authority shall not affix anything
to a building unless they have served notice in writing on the
relevant owner of the building no less than 56 days before starting
the works. Although the Bill did not make reference to a person's
right to make representations, they submitted that it would be
included in a code of practice and was implicit in the Bill because
of subsection 15(3).
THE COMMITTEE'S CONCLUSION ON CLAUSES 15 AND 16
18. The Committee decided that Clauses 15 and
16 should proceed with the amendments proposed by the promoters
and further amended so as to meet the Government's concerns regarding
the right of individuals to make representations.
Recovery of exceptional traffic management and
waste clearance costs: Clauses 26 and 27
19. Clauses 26 and 27 provide for local authorities
to recover highway expenditure and street-cleansing from sporting
and entertainment events and the making of films, where those
events are undertaken for commercial gain. The promoters submitted
that such events could involve large additional expenditure for
local authorities. They submitted that the principle should be
that 'the polluter pays': the expenses incurred should be borne
by those who gained from the event; the general council taxpayer
should not pick up the cost.
20. The Clauses were not opposed by petition,
but they were opposed by the Government. The Government submitted
that the Clauses would have a potentially major detrimental impact
on a number of sectors; that they did not reflect the diversity
of the sectors involved; that they did not consider the wider
economic and societal value of sporting and cultural events in
London; and that it was unclear how they would affect events which
were put on for charitable purposes but which had commercial aspects.
The Government would be happy to discuss how local authorities
might best negotiate case-by-case cost recovery with event organisers,
but it did not support blanket regulation.
THE COMMITTEE'S CONCLUSION ON CLAUSES 26 AND 27
21. The Committee concluded that in certain circumstances
it would be appropriate for local authorities to recover additional
costs for exceptional traffic management and waste clearance from
those organising large sporting and entertainment events, where
those events are undertaken for commercial gain. The Committee
would expect the powers in the Bill to be used selectively and
in proportion to the profit gained through the event. The Committee
therefore decided that Clauses 26 and 27 should proceed with the
amendments proposed by the promoters and the following further
amendments, which we hope will meet at least some of the Government's
concerns: first, paragraph 26(1)(b) shall be omitted (so that
the Clauses do not apply to film making); second, in paragraph
26(5)(c) the words "other than an exceptional showing"
shall be omitted (so as to accord parity between how the Clauses
affect entertainment put on at a theatre and the showing of a
film at a cinema); and, third, subsection 26(6) shall be omitted
(as our second amendment renders the subsection redundant). The
Committee also amended the Clauses so as to ensure that charitable
events are exempt from the provisions.
Cycling on the footway: Clauses 32 and 33
22. Under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835
it is an offence to ride a bicycle on the footway. Part 3 of the
Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 provides that that offence is
a fixed penalty offence. Clause 32 would make provision about
the fixed penalties which may be payable by a cyclist who cycles
on the footway, enabling a London local authority in certain circumstances
to set the levels of fixed penalty in its area. It would further
allow an authority to set different levels of fixed penalty for
different cases or classes of case and for different areas. Clause
33 would provide the Secretary of State with some control over
the levels of ?xed penalties that may be set under Clause 32.
23. The promoters submitted that it was appropriate
for a local authority to set the level of fixed penalty in its
area, as authorities were familiar with their own area and so
best placed to decide how to deal with problems there, and cycling
on the footway was a higher priority for most local authorities
than it was for the police. They further submitted that the current
flat rate of penalty for cycling on the footway was too low and
did not deter cyclists from riding on the pavement. Moreover,
it did not differentiate between locations and so did not counter
the fact that the more serious offences were committed on the
footway in the busier streets.
24. The petitioners questioned whether there
was a need for Clauses 32 and 33. The Secretary of State already
had the power to increase the fixed penalty; and there were other
offences that could be charged against cyclists who recklessly
cycled on the pavement.
25. The Government opposed Clauses 32 and 33.
THE COMMITTEE'S CONCLUSION ON CLAUSES 32 AND 33
26. The Committee recognised there is a problem
regarding the traffic environment in London, of which cycling
on pavements is part, but the Committee considered that the case
had not been made that Clauses 32 and 33 would help to solve that
problem. Therefore, the Committee decided that Clauses 32 and
33 should not proceed.
Pedicabs: Clause 34
27. Pedicabs have been the subject of considerable
legal controversy in recent years. Clause 34 does not seek to
resolve all of those controversies; it is limited to traffic enforcement
issues. It would extend two particular traffic enforcement provisions
to pedicabs. First, Clause 34(6) would extend the prohibition
of parking on pavements for motor vehicles to pedicabs. Second,
Clause 34(7) would have the effect of applying moving traffic
contravention regime penalties (such as for yellow box offences)
28. Clause 34 also deals with how penalty charge
notice provisions can be enforced against pedicabs. Clause 34(2)
would allow the local authority or the police to assume that the
owner of the pedicab was the person who was registered as the
owner at the time, so that the liability for the notice could
be fixed on an identifiable person.
29. Pedicabs are de?ned for the purposes of the
Bill in subsection 34(8) as "cycles constructed or adapted
(a) to seat one or more passengers; and (b) for the purpose of
being made available with a driver in the course of a business
for the purpose of carrying passengers."
30. The promoters submitted that because various
traffic laws did not apply to pedicabs, as they were not classified
as motor vehicles, highway authorities were not able to enforce
certain traffic and parking controls against them, which resulted
in a nuisance.
31. The petitioners submitted that Clause 34
would not be effective without a licensing or registration scheme
being in place for pedicabs. It would be premature to extend offences
to pedicabs before there was an adequate means of identifying
or regulating them.
32. The Bill does not include a registration
scheme for pedicabs, but the promoters explained that it worked
on the basis that a voluntary registration scheme would be in
place. The promoters submitted that there was "complete agreement
between the local authorities, TfL and the responsible [pedicab]
operators" that there should be a voluntary code of practice
THE COMMITTEE'S CONCLUSION ON CLAUSE 34
33. The Committee is content for Clause 34 to
proceed with the amendments proposed by the promoters. However,
the Committee considered that the Clause should not come into
force until an approved registration scheme is operational and
we have amended the Bill accordingly.
34. The Committee heard Counsel for the promoters
on the remaining unopposed Clauses in the Bill. The Committee
is content that those Clauses proceed with the amendments proposed
by the promoters and has no further comment to make on those Clauses.
1 Available from the Parliamentary Agents for the Bill,
Sharpe Pritchard, Elizabeth House, Fulwood Place, London, WC1V
6HG or on the internet at:
The petitions and reports against the Bill are available on the
The transcript of all of the Committee's proceedings are available
on the internet at: