Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirteenth Report


APPENDIX 1

Memorandum from the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions

ROAD TRAFFIC (PERMITTED PARKING AREA AND SPECIAL PARKING AREA) (COUNTY OF CUMBRIA) (CITY OF CARLISLE) ORDER 2001 (S.I. 2001/3543)

ROAD TRAFFIC (DESIGNATION OF PERMITTED PARKING AREA AND SPECIAL PARKING AREA) (COUNTY OF CUMBRIA) (CITY OF CARLISLE) ORDER 2001 (S.I. 2001/3565)

1. This memorandum explains the circumstances surrounding the making of the Road Traffic (Permitted Parking Area and Special Parking Area) (County of Cumbria) (City of Carlisle) Order 2001 ("the original Order") and the Road Traffic (Designation of Permitted Parking Area and Special Parking Area) (County of Cumbria) (City of Carlisle) Order 2001 ("the replacement Order").

2. The original Order was made on 23rd October 2001. Before it was laid before Parliament an error was discovered, in that the date on which it purported to come into force was given as 1st October 2001. It was not intended that the Order should have effect retrospectively and indeed there is no power to make the Order restrospective. The date of coming into force should have been given as 26th November 2001. This error was the result of an administrative oversight. An earlier copy of the Order, printed at a time when the relevant local authorities wished the Order to come into effect on 1st October 2001, was presented to the Minister for signature. The Department apologises for this error.

3. The original Order is today being laid before Parliament, as required by section 4(1) of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 (c.36).

4. However, as it is defective, it is being revoked by the replacement Order. The replacement Order is also laid before Parliament today. The Article in the replacement Order revoking the original Order comes into force on 6th November and the remainder of the replacement Order, designating the City of Carlisle as Permitted Parking Area and a Special Parking Area, comes into force on 26th November. The Department considered it desirable to revoke the original Order as soon as possible and hopes the Committee will accept a breach of the 21 day rule, in respect the revocation element of the replacement Order, in these circumstances.

5. The error in the original Order was noticed shortly after it had been made and before it had been laid before Parliament and before it had been printed and made available to the public. As the original Order is to be revoked it is not proposed that it should be published and put on sale. The Department will certify under regulation 6 of the Statutory Instruments Regulations 1947 that it considers that the printing and sale of copies of the Order is unnecessary in the circumstances of this case. No-one will have had an opportunity to purchase a copy of the defective Order. The Department will therefore not be making available any free issue of the replacement order. For this reason the replacement order does not bear a headnote indicating that it is being issued free to all known recipients of the defective instrument.

5th November 2001

Further Memorandum from the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions

ROAD TRAFFIC (PERMITTED PARKING AREA AND SPECIAL PARKING AREA) (COUNTY OF CUMBRIA) (CITY OF CARLISLE) ORDER 2001 (S.I. 2001/3543)

1. The Committee has asked for a memorandum on the following point -

"It appears that this Order disapplied certain offences from the time of its making on 23 October 2001 until it was revoked on 6 November 2001. The Department's memorandum states that it is not proposed to publish the instrument. Is the Department satisfied that nobody has been wrongly convicted of an offence, or has been subjected to an unauthorised charge, in respect of events which occurred during this period? If not, what steps is it proposed to take to address this problem?"

2. The Department accepts that for a period of 15 days, from 23rd October 2001 to 6th November 2001, certain parking related offences were disapplied in the City of Carlisle. Those offences are those listed in paragraphs 1(4) and 2(4) of Schedule 3 to the Road Traffic Act 1991.

3. The bodies responsible for enforcing those provisions at that time were, in some cases, the police and, in other cases, the District Council in that area. The District Council was responsible for enforcing the use of parking places that it had itself provided under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and also, under the terms of an agency agreement with the County Council, responsible for enforcing the use of the parking places provided by the County Council under the same Act.

4. The Department has made telephone enquiries of the Cumbria Constabulary to establish whether there is any record of any one having been issued with a fixed penalty notice in respect of any relevant "offence" during that period. The Department has advised the police that because of the error there was a period when the offences set out in Schedule to the Road Traffic Act 1991 were disapplied and as such could not have been the basis for any fixed penalty tickets arising from those offences. The police have indicated that 3 fixed penalty notices were issued during the relevant period which related to matters which had ceased to be offences during that time. The police have confirmed that no further action will be taken in respect of these fixed penalty notices and no payment will be required.

5. As regards the local authority enforcement the Department has also advised the District Council over the telephone that, because of the error, there was a period when the offences listed in the Schedule were disapplied and as such could not have been the basis for any charge or penalty based on such offences. The Council is examining its records to establish the details of anyone who has been required to pay a charge during the relevant period which in fact had no basis in law.

6. In both cases the Department proposes to follow through the telephone discussions and to confirm the position in writing to both the police and the District Council, reminding them of their obligation to ensure that no-one is wrongly convicted of any offence or subject to any charge that might not lawfully be imposed.

3rd December 2001


 
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