Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Lord Brabazon of Tara: I am grateful for the support of the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, on the matter. I look forward to the later amendment.

1 Jul 1999 : Column 497

I knew that I had made a mistake when I put "two percentage points" and "four percentage points" in paragraph (b) of the amendment. The Minister picked that up immediately and used it as a major plank in her argument for not supporting the amendment.

The noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, and the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, are right. We, too, support the idea that TfL should be allowed to borrow. That would get round one of the objections of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley.

The other objection is that the Bill simply fails to recognise what has happened in the utility sector in the past 18 years. We have seen enormous advantages to consumers of gas, electricity, and so on. The price of water--in which there has had to be a heavy investment programme--has been allowed to rise at more than the rate of inflation. As regards TfL, where there has to be a huge investment, perhaps that would be a case in point.

However, as the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, said, we need to know roughly what we shall have to pay. We need discipline placed upon the management of TfL so that in the future it behaves like the other utilities-- even the privatised rail companies which I understand are restricted to the RPI for their fare increases.

I can see that I shall get no further with the amendment today. I beg leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 135 agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 255A:


Transpose Clause 135 to after Clause 143

The noble Lord said: In moving the amendment, I speak also to Amendment No. 256A, 256C, 256D, 259F, 259G and 265B.

These amendments are editorial in nature. Their effect is to restructure Chapter II of Part IV, the chapter which provides for Transport for London's general functions and create a new chapter dealing specifically with TfL's public transport functions. The amendments therefore provide for the creation of a new chapter into which will go by way of the new clause in Amendment No. 263B those provisions of Chapter II dealing with public passenger transport, and the additional functions which are the subject of some of the other government amendments to be considered later.

The effect of the amendment is to set out TfL's functions in a more logical way. I commend it to the Committee.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: Perhaps I may suggest that the Committee stage begin again not before 8.30 p.m.

Perhaps I may also inform the House that no Northern Ireland business will be taken tonight.

[The Sitting was suspended from 7.44 to 8.30 p.m.]

1 Jul 1999 : Column 498

Lord Brabazon of Tara moved Amendment No. 256:


After Clause 135, insert the following new clause--

INTRODUCTION OF SINGLE TICKET FOR JOURNEYS IN GREATER LONDON

(" .--(1) With effect from the appointed day, Transport for London shall introduce, or procure or facilitate the introduction of, a means by which passengers shall be able to make journeys in Greater London using more than one public passenger transport service having purchased only a single ticket; such ticket shall be a voucher or an electronic card or such other system as appears to Transport for London to be the most reliable, economic and efficient means to effect such journeys.
(2) The Mayor may issue regulations under this subsection as to the day on which subsection (1) above shall come into effect, provided that the appointed day within that subsection shall be no later than the fifth anniversary of this Act coming into force.")

The noble Lord said: This is a very simple amendment. It requires the mayor to issue regulations for the introduction of single ticket journeys in Greater London. I know that we have the Travelcard and various other schemes but there is a demand for the ability to buy one ticket to go across the whole of Greater London. The Bill is a great opportunity to meet that requirement. We have given the mayor five years--a reasonable length of time--to bring it into effect. It would do a great deal to encourage people to use public transport. It would make life a great deal more convenient for many people.

Lord Whitty: We all understand what lies behind the amendment and clearly it would be a desirable move. Such ticketing arrangements already exist in the form of a Travelcard. As those who travel frequently on public transport know, a Travelcard is a very popular and successful product. Many thousands of people use it every day. It is not a statutory scheme. It is underpinned by a voluntary agreement between LRT and the train operating companies. TfL will inherit London Transport's obligations under that agreement and will thus continue to offer the benefits of the Travelcard to those visiting, living and working in London. It is inconceivable that any mayor would want to risk losing the benefits of such a popular and effective means of promoting public transport. It is more likely the mayor would want to build on it and develop the advantages. There is no need to require the mayor to do that because the whole thrust of Part IV of the Bill is that London Transport should be improved and integrated.

Clause 123 plainly states:


    "The Mayor shall develop and implement policies for the promotion and encouragement of safe, integrated, efficient and economic transport". The Travelcard and similar products will be a vital component in helping the mayor to discharge that duty. It is difficult to see how any move to reduce or remove the benefits of the Travelcard could be consistent with the duty. Not only is it clear that the mayor can do this already in the Bill as drafted but moves in that direction would be beneficial in terms of fulfilling his duties on integrated transport. However, the precise form of such a scheme is best left to the mayor.

1 Jul 1999 : Column 499

I hope that with those assurances the noble Lord can withdraw his prescriptive amendment.

Lord Brabazon of Tara: I am grateful to the Minister for his response. I hope the mayor heeds his wise words and, for that matter, my wise words.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 136 [General powers]:

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lord Elton): If Amendment No. 256A is agreed to, I shall not be able to call Amendment No. 256AA.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 256A:


Page 72, line 43, leave out subsection (1)

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 256AA not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 256B:


Page 73, line 4, at end insert ("or
( ) carrying on such activities together with activities which Transport for London does not have power to carry on.")

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 256BA:


Page 73, line 8, leave out ("for the provision by that person") and insert ("with respect to the provision or financing")

The noble Lord said: In moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 258A, 265BA and 265C. These provisions have the effect of reproducing existing functions exercised by or in relation to London local authorities and LRT. These amendments were announced by my honourable friend the Minister for Transport on 4th May in another place as part of a package of amendments to the railway provisions of the Bill. The other railway amendments will be dealt with later. These amendments are effectively transposing existing powers.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees: If Amendment No. 256C is agreed to, I cannot call Amendment No. 256CA.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 256C:


Page 73, line 30, leave out subsection (6)

The noble Lord said: I beg to move.

Baroness Hamwee: Since a betting person would not take any bets on this amendment being rejected, I take the opportunity to make the general point which would have been encompassed in the later amendment were we able to move it. Efficiency and economy are referred to and we understand the Government have included the term "effectiveness" in other legislation. Efficiency and effectiveness are different things. We are persuaded of that, among other matters, in the Local Government Bill now going through your Lordships' House. We hope that, as well as being efficient, economical and safe, transport services in

1 Jul 1999 : Column 500

London will be effective and achieve what they set out to do, which after all is the meaning of "effectiveness".

Lord Whitty: If the amendment which I have formally moved is carried, the noble Baroness cannot move her amendment. However, I am conscious of the point she raised earlier in the debate and I shall consider it in relation to the legislation.

Baroness Hamwee: I am grateful.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 256CA not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 256D and 256E:


Page 74, line 11, leave out ("subsection (6) above or section") and insert ("section (Provision of public passenger transport)(1) or")
Page 74, line 29, leave out ("exercise and performance of its functions under this Act") and insert ("discharge by Transport for London of any of its functions")

On Question, amendments agreed to.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page