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Lord Carter: The Committee will be extremely grateful to the Minister for the way in which he explained the group of amendments. I have some general points to raise, and a number of specific points on the new clause.

The noble Lord referred to buses, coaches and rail. I believe that he touched on trams. We have been advised to ask whether trolley buses and ferries are included or excluded. I believe that ferries are public service vehicles.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: I can certainly assist the noble Lord on ferries. They are not included. The provision refers to land-based transport. Ferries are not included for a number of reasons, one of which is the international obligations on ferries, and the fact that they sail between different countries. Many ferries cater for disabled people, especially the new ferries which have lifts from, say, the car decks up to the passenger accommodation.

To be honest I had not realised that we had many trolley buses left. However, on the assumption that people will be manufacturing new trolley buses, I imagine that those will come within the scope of the provisions.

Lord Carter: My other point was whether Northern Ireland is covered.

On Amendment No. 139H, subsection (5) (c) and (d) refers to different networks. The Minister said that that would refer to heritage railways. Perhaps that is the term that we shall have to apply to British Rail eventually! However, will he make it absolutely clear whether the provision applies also to the different franchises? Could the Government use their powers under Amendment No. 139J to bring in exemptions? Subsection (2) (a) specifies the persons by whom applications for exemption orders may be made. Will the Government be able to vary the requirements between the franchisees of the privatised networks for providing access for disabled people?

I was puzzled why subsection (1) of Amendment No. 139K is needed. Those of us who are directors of bodies corporate spend a large amount of money on directors' liability insurance. Why do the Government believe it necessary to spell out that provision? I believe that all the people referred to in that subsection are guilty if they

27 Jun 1995 : Column 720

connive at such an offence. I have referred already to ferries. The awful cases of the "Herald of Free Enterprise" and the "Marchioness" involved the crime of corporate manslaughter. In this specific case, why do the Government believe it necessary to spell out the provision?

In subsection (2) of Amendment No. 139K, I am puzzled by the definition of,


    "a body corporate whose affairs are managed by its members".

I can think only of a workers' co-operative or a kibbutz. I am not sure what is meant by a "body corporate". In a private company the members are shareholders; they do not manage the company. And they do not do so in a public company. What is "a body corporate whose affairs are managed by its members"?

I understand why a partnership is spelt out in subsection (3), because under Scottish law it is a body corporate. In Scotland there is considerable use of the limited partnership where the liability of one of the members is limited, rather like a limited company. But that is only one member of the partnership. The device has been used a great deal in Scottish farming to create tenancy agreements. In drafting, has the draftsman caught the limited partnership as well as the partnerships defined in the amendment?

We shall be grateful if the Minister will reply to those points. Perhaps he will write to me if that is easier and quicker.

10.30 p.m.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: With regard to Amendment No. 139K and the rather legalistic issues raised, if the noble Lord is content perhaps I may write to him.

As to the different franchises, clearly, as with the case which I mentioned earlier of heritage railways, these might be operated by a different company from the rest of the rail network. That is how it already happens. So different franchises may have different conditions imposed on them. Some may serve different areas and provide different services. For example, already the trains on the inter-city lines are pretty accessible. That would be one franchise which might go ahead more quickly than a franchisee with more local lines, with more old-fashioned stations and more difficult rolling stock to deal with.

It is possible that conditions may vary from one franchisee to another; it is equally possible that conditions may vary inside a franchisee's area because of the differences in the kind of service being run, the availability of stock and how quickly we can see the development of the kind of trains which will be accessible. I hope that is helpful. I shall write to the noble Lord about the other points.

Lord Carter: The concern would be that if the Government found it difficult to unload a number of the franchises—as I am sure they will—would it not be easier to relax the requirements for access for disabled people?

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: The noble Lord has far too suspicious a mind!

On Question, amendment agreed to.

27 Jun 1995 : Column 721

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish moved Amendments Nos. 139B to 139K:


After Clause 34, insert the following new clause:

Accessibility certificates

(".—(1) A regulated public service vehicle shall not be used on a road unless—
(a) a vehicle examiner has issued a certificate (an "accessibility certificate") that such provisions of the PSV accessibility regulations as may be prescribed are satisfied in respect of the vehicle; or
(b) an approval certificate has been issued under section (Approval certificates) in respect of the vehicle.
(2) The Secretary of State may make regulations—
(a) with respect to applications for, and the issue of, accessibility certificates;
(b) providing for the examination of vehicles in respect of which applications have been made;
(c) with respect to the issue of copies of accessibility certificates in place of certificates which have been lost or destroyed.
(3) If a regulated public service vehicle is used in contravention of this section, the operator of the vehicle is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.
(4) In this section "operator" has the same meaning as in the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981.").
After Clause 34, insert the following new clause:
Approval certificates

(".—(1) Where the Secretary of State is satisfied that such provisions of the PSV accessibility regulations as may be prescribed for the purposes of section (Accessibility certificates) are satisfied in respect of a particular vehicle he may approve the vehicle for the purposes of this section.
(2) A vehicle which has been so approved is referred to in this section as a "type vehicle".
(3) Subsection (4) applies where a declaration in the prescribed form has been made by an authorised person that a particular vehicle conforms in design, construction and equipment with a type vehicle.
(4) A vehicle examiner may, after examining the vehicle to which the declaration applies if he thinks fit, issue a certificate in the prescribed form ("an approval certificate") that it conforms to the type vehicle.
(5) The Secretary of State may make regulations—
(a) with respect to applications for, and grants of, approval under subsection (1);
(b) with respect to applications for, and the issue of, approval certificates;
(c) providing for the examination of vehicles in respect of which applications have been made;
(d) with respect to the issue of copies of approval certificates in place of certificates which have been lost or destroyed.
(6) The Secretary of State may at any time withdraw his approval of a type vehicle.
(7) Where an approval is withdrawn—
(a) no further approval certificates shall be issued by reference to the type vehicle; but
(b) any approval certificate issued by reference to the type vehicle before the withdrawal shall continue to have effect for the purposes of section (Accessibility certificates).
(8) In subsection (3) "authorised person" means a person authorised by the Secretary of State for the purposes of that subsection.").
After Clause 34, insert the following new clause:
Special authorisations

(".—(1) The Secretary of State may by order authorise the use on roads of—
(a) any regulated public service vehicle of a class or description specified by the order, or

27 Jun 1995 : Column 722


(b) any regulated public service vehicle which is so specified,
and nothing in section (PSV accessibility regulations), (Accessibility certificates) or (Approval certificates) prevents the use of any vehicle in accordance with the order.
(2) Any such authorisation may be given subject to such restrictions and conditions as may be specified by or under the order.
(3) The Secretary of State may by order make provision for the purpose of securing that, subject to such restrictions and conditions as may be specified by or under the order, provisions of the PSV accessibility regulations apply to regulated public service vehicles of a description specified by the order subject to such modifications or exceptions as may be specified by the order.").
After Clause 34, insert the following new clause:
Forgery of certificates and false statements

(".—(1) This section applies to accessibility certificates and approval certificates.
(2) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to deceive, he—
(a) forges, alters or uses a certificate to which this section applies;
(b) lends such a certificate to any other person;
(c) allows such a certificate to be used by any other person; or
(d) makes or has in his possession any document which closely resembles such a certificate.
(3) A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (2) is liable—
(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;
(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.
(4) A person who knowingly makes a false statement for the purpose of obtaining a certificate to which this section applies is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.").
After Clause 34, insert the following new clause:
Reviews and appeals

(".—(1) Subsection (2) applies where—
(a) the Secretary of State refuses an application for the approval of a vehicle under section (Approval certificates) (1); and
(b) before the end of the prescribed period, the applicant asks the Secretary of State to review the decision and pays any fee fixed under section (Fees).
(2) The Secretary of State shall—
(a) review the decision; and
(b) in doing so, consider any representations made to him in writing, before the end of the prescribed period, by the applicant.
(3) A person applying for an accessibility certificate or an approval certificate may appeal to the Secretary of State against the refusal of a vehicle examiner to issue such a certificate.
(4) An appeal must be made within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner.
(5) Regulations may make provision as to the procedure to be followed in connection with appeals.
(6) On the determination of an appeal, the Secretary of State may—
(a) confirm, vary or reverse the decision appealed against;
(b) give such directions as he thinks fit to the vehicle examiner for giving effect to his decision.").
After Clause 34, insert the following new clause:
Fees

(".—(1) Such fees, payable at such times, as may be prescribed may be charged by the Secretary of State in respect of—
(a) applications for, and grants of, approval under section (Approval certificates) (1);
(b) applications for, and the issue of, accessibility certificates and approval certificates;
(c) copies of such certificates;
(d) reviews and appeals under section (Reviews and appeals).

27 Jun 1995 : Column 723


(2) Any such fees received by the Secretary of State shall be paid by him into the Consolidated Fund.
(3) Regulations under subsection (1) may make provision for the repayment of fees, in whole or in part, in such circumstances as may be prescribed.").
After Clause 34, insert the following new clause:
Rail vehicles
Rail vehicle accessibility regulations

(".—(1) The Secretary of State may make regulations ("rail vehicle accessibility regulations") for the purpose of securing that it is possible—
(a) for disabled persons—
(i) to get on to and off regulated rail vehicles in safety and without unreasonable difficulty;
(ii) to be carried in such vehicles in safety and in reasonable comfort; and
(b) for disabled persons in wheelchairs—
(i) to get on to and off such vehicles in safety and without unreasonable difficulty while remaining in their wheelchairs, and
(ii) to be carried in such vehicles in safety and in reasonable comfort while remaining in their wheelchairs.
(2) Rail vehicle accessibility regulations may make provision as to the construction, use and maintenance of regulated rail vehicles including, in particular, provision as to—
(a) the fitting of equipment to vehicles;
(b) equipment to be carried by vehicles;
(c) the design of equipment to be fitted to, or carried by, vehicles;
(d) the use of equipment fitted to, or carried by, vehicles;
(e) the toilet facilities to be provided in vehicles;
(f) the location and floor area of the wheelchair accommodation to be provided in vehicles;
(g) assistance to be given to disabled persons.
(3) If a regulated rail vehicle which does not conform with any provision of the rail vehicle accessibility regulations with which it is required to conform is used for carriage, the operator of the vehicle is guilty of an offence.
(4) A person who is guilty of such an offence is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.
(5) Different provision may be made in rail vehicle accessibility regulations—
(a) as respects different classes or descriptions of rail vehicle;
(b) as respects the same class or description of rail vehicle in different circumstances;
(c) as respects different localities;
(d) as respects different networks.
(6) In this section—
"network" means any permanent way or other means of guiding or supporting rail vehicles or any section of it;
"operator", in relation to any rail vehicle, means the person having the management of that vehicle;
"rail vehicle" means a vehicle constructed or adapted to carry passengers on any railway, tramway or prescribed system;
"regulated rail vehicle" means any rail vehicle to which the rail vehicle accessibility regulations are expressed to apply; and
"wheelchair accommodation" has such meaning as may be prescribed.
(7) In subsection (6)—
"prescribed system" means a system using a prescribed mode of guided transport ("guided transport" having the same meaning as in the Transport and Works Act 1992); and

27 Jun 1995 : Column 724


"railway" and "tramway" have the same meaning as in that Act.
(8) For the purposes of this section and section (Exemption from rail vehicle accessibility regulations), a person uses a vehicle for carriage if he uses it for the carriage of members of the public for hire or reward at separate fares.
(9) Before making any regulations under this section or section (Exemption from rail vehicle accessibility regulations) the Secretary of State shall consult the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee and such other representative organisations as he thinks fit.").
After Clause 34, insert the following new clause:
Exemption from rail vehicle accessibility regulations

(".—(1) The Secretary of State may by order (an "exemption order") authorise the use for carriage of any regulated rail vehicle of a specified description, or in specified circumstances, even though that vehicle does not conform with the provisions of the rail vehicle accessibility regulations with which it is required to conform.
(2) Regulations may make provision with respect to exemption orders including, in particular, provision as to—
(a) the persons by whom applications for exemption orders may be made;
(b) the form in which such applications are to be made;
(c) information to be supplied in connection with such applications;
(d) the period for which exemption orders are to continue in force;
(e) the revocation of exemption orders.
(3) After considering any application for an exemption order and consulting the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee and such other persons as he considers appropriate, the Secretary of State may—
(a) make an exemption order in the terms of the application;
(b) make an exemption order in such other terms as he considers appropriate;
(c) refuse to make an exemption order.
(4) An exemption order may be made subject to such restrictions and conditions as may be specified.
(5) In this section "specified" means specified in an exemption order.").
After Clause 34, insert the following new clause:
Supplemental
Offences by bodies corporate etc

(".—(1) Where an offence under section (PSV accessibility regulations) or (Rail vehicle accessibility regulations) committed by a body corporate is committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body, or a person purporting to act in such a capacity, he as well as the body corporate is guilty of the offence.
(2) In subsection (1) "director", in relation to a body corporate whose affairs are managed by its members, means a member of the body corporate.
(3) Where, in Scotland, an offence under section (PSV accessibility regulations) or (Rail vehicle accessibility regulations) committed by a partnership or by an unincorporated association other than a partnership is committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, a partner in the partnership or (as the case may be) a person concerned in the management or control of the association, he, as well as the partnership or association, is guilty of the offence.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendment No. 140 not moved.]

Clause 35 agreed to.

27 Jun 1995 : Column 725


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