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Lord Avebury: I can see that the amendment as drafted is an extremely wide one, but it occurs to me that one could go part of the way towards meeting it by reference to Clause 136(4), which deals with arrangements that may be entered into by Transport for London with a contractor to carry on activities which Transport for London has not the power to do. Those are specific agreements that are made by Transport for London with companies which will be known. It does not extend as far as the noble Lord's amendment, which appears to cover anyone who does business with Transport for London. That set of companies would be easily definable and identifiable. I suggest that the directors of those companies who might well have an interest in the subject matter of the appeal should be disqualified from sitting on the panel.

Lord Brabazon of Tara: I am grateful to the noble Baroness for her reply and to the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, for his suggestion. I still think that there is a point in this amendment. I may not have the drafting right--I probably have not--but there is a point in that there could be conflict of interest. The noble Baroness has not answered my question about who will be on the appeal panel. We know who cannot be on the appeal panel. I want to know who can be on it. The noble Baroness mentioned Amendment No. 273J. We have just passed that amendment so that is in the Bill. That is helpful to my amendment as it goes some of the way towards satisfying me. Perhaps the noble Baroness would like to comment.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: I apologise to the noble Lord for my reference to an amendment as if it were to be debated when it had already been passed.

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It was good to receive his thanks for "things received" as opposed to "things to come". He did raise the issue of independent experts. Those would be independent people with relevant experience, but not anyone who might be perceived as biased or people with certain posts in the GLA, as already referred to in the Bill. I hope that that answers the point. I note the strength with which the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, made the case in support, at least in part, of the noble Lord's amendment.

Lord Brabazon of Tara: I shall consider what has been said. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 274A and 274B:


Page 81, line 20, leave out from beginning to ("requests") in line 21 and insert ("making the appeal")
Page 81, line 25, at end insert--
("( ) A recommendation under subsection (7) above may include a recommendation that Transport for London pay to the person who made the appeal a sum equivalent to all or part of any fee paid to the Mayor by virtue of subsection (3A) above.")

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 152, as amended, agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 274C:


Transpose Clause 152 to after Clause 155

The noble Lord said: In moving this amendment, I shall also speak to Amendments Nos. 276B and 277H. The first two amendments are simply editorial changes. They change the position of the two clauses within the chapter. Amendment No. 277H adds a definition of "the guidance document" to Clause 160, the interpretation clause. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 153 [Conditions]:

Lord Brabazon of Tara moved Amendment No. 275:


Page 81, line 30, at end insert ("provided that no condition shall be operated if it contains or requires features which are neither essential nor reasonably incidental to the purpose of providing a safe, economic and efficient bus service for passengers")

The noble Lord said: In moving this amendment, I shall also speak to Amendments Nos. 276 and 277. All these amendments seek to prevent Transport for London imposing unnecessary and possibly biased conditions as to who can, or cannot, provide a service. The amendment states that no condition shall be operated,


    "if it contains or requires features which are neither essential nor reasonably incidental to the purpose of providing a safe, economic and efficient bus service for passengers". I claim that those are the main necessities in the provision of a service. These amendments would prevent operators being driven out for non-transport reasons, whatever they might be. I hope that the Minister will be able to tell the Committee that my

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    amendments are unnecessary and that no such person would be prevented from operating a service. I beg to move.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: Clause 153 carries forward into current legislation certain provisions which are made for attaching conditions to London local service licences. It applies equivalent conditions to London service permits. TfL will be able to attach such conditions only for reasonable purposes.

Conditions may refer to the suitability of the route, the location of stopping places, and may also be used to promote the safety and convenience of the public, including persons with mobility problems.

Amendment No. 277, in conjunction with Amendments Nos. 275 and 276, seeks to limit the imposition of such conditions, with the result that TfL will no longer be able to take account of matters such as traffic and parking conditions in determining whether to grant a permit. That could compromise the implementation of the mayor's transport strategy and thus represents an approach to which we cannot agree.

However, the Government have brought forward Amendment No. 273G, which will give permit holders a right of appeal against the imposition of conditions by TfL and a right of appeal against the revocation or suspension of their permit for the contravention of those conditions. That should provide appropriate safeguards against the imposition of such unreasonable conditions as the noble Lord rightly referred to. I hope that he feels able to withdraw the amendment.

Lord Brabazon of Tara: I am grateful to the noble Baroness. From what she said, my Amendment No. 277 goes a little further than I had intended. The detail of Amendment No. 273G had not caught my attention in the way in which the noble Baroness would have wished. I believe it goes some way towards answering my apprehensions. Therefore, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood moved Amendment No. 275A:


Page 81, line 41, at end insert ("other than a requirement to provide concessionary fares to particular groups of people")

The noble Baroness said: Amendment No. 275A amends subsection (3) of Clause 153. The subsection says:


    "No condition as to fares shall be attached ... to a London service permit". Our amendment would permit exceptions to that if the condition was a requirement to provide concessionary fares.

This matter was debated in another place. The Minister argued that the services we are talking about would be commercial services and that operators should decide whether to offer concessionary fares. That was one line of discussion. On the other hand, the boroughs

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would have powers to make arrangements for concessionary fares in regard to the services.

It seems rather odd to say that the boroughs can make arrangements with the permit holders who run commercial services, which is what happens all the time in the ordinary granting of contracts with bus providers, but that TfL cannot do so. Can the Minister explain this rather odd situation? I beg to move.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: Amendment No. 275A gives the mayor the power to require the operators of permit services to provide concessionary fares. As those are commercial services, it would be wrong to allow TfL to attach fares conditions of any sort, including concessionary fares. It will be for the operators of those services to decide whether or not to offer travel concessions to particular groups of people.

If, on the other hand, the noble Baroness, Lady Thomas of Walliswood, is thinking that those services should be incorporated in the London concessionary fares scheme, I should explain that the London boroughs, whose scheme it is, will have the power to make arrangements with permit operators to provide travel concessions if they so wish. As they pay for the scheme, it is right that they, and not the mayor, should make that decision.

I hope, and I am sure from my knowledge of her judgement that it will be the case, the noble Baroness feels able to withdraw the amendment.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood: I am happy with the Minister's explanation and beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 276 not moved.]

Clause 153 agreed to.

Clause 154 [Duration]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 276A:


Page 82, line 22, leave out from beginning to ("is") in line 25 and insert ("an application has been made for the grant of a new London service permit in substitution for it and--
(a) Transport for London has neither granted nor refused to grant the London service permit applied for,
(b) Transport for London has refused to grant the London service permit applied for but an appeal against the refusal has been made under section 152 above and not disposed of, or
(c) Transport for London has granted the London service permit applied for but an appeal against a decision to attach a condition to the permit has been made under section 152 above and not disposed of,
subsection (2A) below shall apply.
(2A) Where this subsection applies, the existing London service permit shall continue in force--
(a) in a case falling within subsection (2)(a) above, until Transport for London grants or refuses to grant the London service permit applied for, or
(b) in a case falling within subsection (2)(b) or (c) above, until the appeal has been disposed of.

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(2B) Where subsection (2A)(a) above applies, if Transport for London--
(a) refuses to grant the London service permit applied for, or
(b) grants the London service permit applied for but at the time of the grant attaches any condition to the permit,
the existing London service permit shall continue in force until any appeal which is made under section 152 above against the decision in question has been disposed of.
(3) This section")

The noble Lord said: Amendment No. 276A deals with London service permits and allows services to continue under certain circumstances. Those circumstances are: if a permit holder makes an application to renew a permit for a service which is about to expire, the service can continue until the application has been disposed of; or if a permit holder appeals against a decision by TfL to impose conditions on a permit or to revoke or suspend a permit, the service in question can continue until the appeal is disposed of. The amendment thus safeguards the commercial interests of a permit holder because he or she can continue to operate in the circumstances described until matters are resolved. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 154, as amended, agreed to.

11 p.m.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 276B:


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