|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Baroness Hayman: My Lords, my noble friend is right in terms of Euro-gauge meaning piggy-back. The opportunities are extremely exciting. The White Paper looks at the possibilities for pilot schemes for charging on the trunk road and motorway network and for recycling that revenue. Within the new remit for the Highways Agency we have a new strategic aim and objective. We are looking at its role as a provider within an integrated transport framework. That money can be spent on performing that role rather than on the more traditional roadbuilding role as in the past.
There are many exciting things that we can do in terms of traffic management, regional control centres, better information for motorists and to encourage modal shifts from road to park-and-ride and then on to rail. There are opportunities. We need to look at pilot schemes very carefully because we also have to recognise that we do not want diversion on to unsuitable local roads. Therefore we have to assess schemes carefully.
Lord Geddes: My Lords, the noble Baroness is to be congratulated not only on repeating the Statement but on having the stamina to do so over 15 minutes. I warmly support the noble Baroness, Lady Thomas of Walliswood, in requesting that the usual channels consider together so that we get some time to debate. This document contains 162 pages even if one disregards the index. One cannot hoist it all in in an hour. The document contains a great deal of very important information and very important ideas. I ask the Minister to try to make the best overtures she can in that respect.
In the interests of the House and speed, I have one general and two specific questions. As regards the general question, can the Minister advise the House when we can expect to receive what are delightfully described as the "daughter documents?". I do not believe that I have ever come across that expression in these circles before. It is rather nicely put. Can she advise us when those documents will be available?
Baroness Hayman: My Lords, I have to confess to the noble Lord that I was trying not to say coastal shipping and short-sea shipping for very good reason. I can assure the noble Lord that it will apply to both. In the interests of completeness we shall look at encouraging the take-up of freight grants which are available for inland waterways and which do not need an extension. They are not well taken up at the moment.
As regards the franchises, it is important that we make quite clear the standards that are expected of franchisees and also the standards expected of those who wish to renegotiate their franchises. As the noble Lord said, there are important messages here. I want to be absolutely clear. I shall write to the noble Lord with the detail.
Baroness Hayman: My Lords, I thought that that was a European phrase and I would expect the noble Lord to be well acquainted with it. The daughter documents will be out very soon; the first one on rail came out today. I hope that we shall see the document on roads before the House rises. There is a document on buses which it is important to get out soon. There is another on sustainable freight and distribution. Within the next weeks and a couple of months we shall see a great many of these documents appearing.
It is slightly more difficult as regards airports. A large-scale Statement on airport policy will have to await the outcome of the Terminal 5 inquiry because we do not wish to prejudge it. So there are issues of timing, but the main daughter documents will be out soon. The consultation document on the detail of congestion charging will also be out soon.
Baroness Ludford: My Lords, can the Minister tell us more about the thinking on integrated ticketing, particularly for single journeys? It is most welcome that the White Paper refers to the matter, but the Statement does not. Nor, curiously, does the report on consultation.
A great deal of the debate is on macro issues such as investment. But the micro issues on subjects such as ticketing have a big impact on the willingness of people such as those being asked to leave their cars at home on some days and not the whole week. Does the Minister accept that for London--which is the area I know--the people who do not travel enough to justify a travelcard find the Underground arrangements totally inadequate? We need solutions like strip cards and carnets if people are to be persuaded to travel on a one-off basis.
Can the Minister also try to dissuade London Underground enforcing its deeply resented £10 penalty fare until it can guarantee ticket machines that work and do not show "Exact money only" when one has queued for five minutes or those which say "closed"? There are
Baroness Hayman: My Lords, the noble Baroness is right to identify these issues as important. In London the specifics will be a matter to which the mayor and assembly should give their attention very early on in the process. There are many things that have to be ironed out. We expect local authorities, when preparing their local transport plans, to consider the arrangements for through-ticketing and for travelcards. We shall be publishing advice on good practice because that is available. The necessary powers should be available locally to require operators to promote and participate in joint ticketing and travelcard schemes. There have been difficulties with different bus operators in some areas. It is important to get them to participate. We shall make sure that they do, so that multi-operator ticketing schemes will be available.
We are also looking to the bus industry to introduce simpler fare structures and through-ticketing, where necessary, in conjunction with local authorities. There are opportunities available because of technology. We should make the most of smart cards. We are looking with the key players in the industry both to identify the potential benefit for integrating journeys and to see exactly what role the Government should play in helping to bring forward the kinds of applications we need.
Lord Beloff: My Lords, is the noble Baroness aware that there is a contradiction at the heart of the Statement between its accent on safety and its encouragement of the use of the bicycle? As an elderly and infirm pedestrian, I am not troubled that a motor vehicle may mount the pavement and knock me over, but I am constantly in fear of cyclists on pavements. Would it not be a good idea to insert into criminal justice legislation a provision that cycling on the pavement is a major criminal offence?
Baroness Hayman: My Lords, I can reassure the noble Lord that frantic cycling is an offence and one on which the police can issue on-the-spot fines and tickets. I appreciate the concern of pedestrians about frantic cycling and their feeling that they are vulnerable road users in relation to cyclists. However, it is important to give cyclists, who are themselves vulnerable in relation to motorcyclists or car drivers, proper safe cycle routes where they will not be a danger to those using the pavement and where they will not themselves be in danger.
There are some shining examples around particular schools and in particular local authorities which show that we can square the circle between safety and increased cycling and walking. We must do so, however, with the appropriate engineering and enforcement measures in place. There must also be attention to local detail.
Back to Table of Contents
Lords Hansard Home Page