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Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 297G:


After Clause 218, insert the following new clause--

THE ROAD TRAFFIC REDUCTION ACT 1997

(" .--(1) In section 1 of the Road Traffic Reduction Act 1997 (interpretation) the following definitions shall be inserted at the appropriate places--
""local implementation plan", in relation to a London council, means the plan prepared by the council under section 127 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999;";
""London council" means a London borough council or the Common Council of the City of London;";
""the Mayor of London's transport strategy" means the transport strategy prepared and published under section 124 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999;".
(2) Section 2 of that Act (duty of principal councils to make reports) shall be amended as follows.
(3) In subsection (3) (information or proposals which relate to levels of local road traffic and are required by guidance under subsection (6)) in paragraph (b), after "guidance under subsection (6)" there shall be inserted "or (in the case of a report prepared by a London council) directions under subsection (6A)".
(4) After subsection (4), there shall be inserted--
"(4A) A report under this section prepared by a London council must take account of the Mayor of London's transport strategy and the council's local implementation plan; and--
(a) any targets specified in such a report pursuant to subsection (2), and
(b) any proposals contained in such a report pursuant to subsection (3),
must be in conformity with that strategy and that plan."
(5) After subsection (6) there shall be inserted--
"(6A) The Mayor of London may give directions or issue guidance to London councils in relation to any matter in relation to which the Secretary of State may issue guidance under subsection (6).
(6B) The Mayor of London must not give any direction or issue any guidance under subsection (6A) which conflicts with guidance under subsection (6).
(6C) A London council preparing a report under this section--
(a) shall comply with any directions given under subsection (6A), and
(b) shall have regard to any guidance issued under that subsection."
(6) In subsection (7)(a) (report to be sent to the Secretary of State) after "Secretary of State" there shall be inserted "and, if the council is a London council, send a copy of the report to the Mayor of London".").

The noble Lord said: When the provisions of the Road Traffic Reduction Act 1997 come into force, local authorities which are also local traffic authorities will have a number of duties. First, they must assess road traffic levels; secondly, they must set targets for

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reducing traffic levels or the growth of those levels; and, thirdly, they must make a report to the Secretary of State. As currently drafted, the Bill does not refer to the Road Traffic Reduction Act, and we need to remedy that. The Government have looked carefully at how the provisions of that Act should apply in London where there will be two types of local traffic authority. We felt strongly that we should not split the duty between boroughs concerned with borough roads and TfL concerned with GLA roads. We therefore concluded that the primary duty should remain with the boroughs.

Amendment No. 297G, therefore, provides that reports prepared by London boroughs under the provisions of the Road Traffic Reduction Act should conform to the mayor's transport strategy and the local implementation plans of boroughs, and that when a London borough sends a report to the Secretary of State it should send it also to the mayor. I commend this amendment to the Committee.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

9 p.m.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 297H:


Before Clause 219, insert the following new clause--

DESIGNATION OF PAYING PARKING PLACES ON HIGHWAYS

(" .--(1) Section 45 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (designation of paying parking places on highways) shall be amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (1), in the second paragraph (which requires a local authority outside Greater London which is not the traffic authority to obtain the consent of the traffic authority to any designation) the words "outside Greater London" shall cease to have effect.
(3) After subsection (1) there shall be inserted--
"(1A) Transport for London may not by virtue of subsection (1) above designate parking places on any highway which is not a GLA road."
(4) In subsection (7), in the definition of "local authority", at the end of paragraph (a) there shall be added "or Transport for London".
(5) In subsection (7), in the definition of "the local authority", after the words "in whose area the site is" there shall be added "unless the site is in Greater London, in which case--
(i) if the site is on a GLA road and the parking place is, or is proposed to be, designated by Transport for London, "the local authority" means Transport for London;
(ii) if the site is on a GLA road and the parking place is, or is proposed to be, designated by the London local authority in whose area the site is, "the local authority" means that London local authority; and
(iii) if the site is on a highway which is not a GLA road, "the local authority" means the London local authority in whose area the site is."
(6) After subsection (7) there shall be added--
"(8) In this section--
"GLA road" has the same meaning as in the Highways Act 1980 (see sections 329(1) and 14D(1) of that Act);
"London local authority" means the council of a London borough or the Common Council of the City of London.

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(9) For the purposes of this section and sections 46 to 55 of this Act, Transport for London's area shall be taken to be Greater London.").

The noble Lord said: In moving Amendment No. 297H, with the indulgence of the Committee I shall not read out the remaining amendments in this group to which I shall speak in the course of my remarks. We have grouped these amendments together because we believe that it is sensible to spell out the totality of our approach to parking in London, with the exception of workplace parking charges which arise under a later clause. We intend to do three things in the area of parking and, taken together, this group of amendments provides TfL with all the necessary powers: first, to operate a de-criminalised parking regime on GLA roads; secondly, to provide the mayor rather than the Secretary of State with power to set de-criminalised parking penalties in London, subject to certain safeguards; and, thirdly, to address the issue of parking surpluses.

A number of these amendments arise because parking is normally a local authority responsibility. Although TfL will be the highway and traffic authority for GLA roads, it is not a local authority for this purpose. Our amendments will provide TfL with power to designate pay and parking places on GLA roads, operate the parking account, employ parking attendants and agree with the police that traffic wardens can act as parking attendants. Amendments Nos. 297M, 297P, 297S, 297V, 297X, 297XB, 297XC, 297XD, 297XE, 297XF, 297XH and 297XJ fulfil an undertaking given during the Committee stage of the Bill in another place on 4th March when my colleague Nick Raynsford indicated that, in the light of Opposition amendments, the Government were minded to table amendments to enable the mayor rather than Secretary of State to approve the level of parking penalties in Greater London. Our amendments do just that but provide a reserve power for the Secretary of State to intervene if he considers the proposed charges to be excessive.

The third group of government amendments in this group relates to those matters on which London authorities can spend their parking surpluses. As well as providing that TfL must operate a parking account, Amendment No. 297HA allows the mayor to specify in his or her transport strategy additional categories of activity which further his strategy and can be funded from those parking surpluses. It also enables one borough to contribute to another borough's spending on activities that can be financed from its parking account. This opens the way for a variety of flexible methods for the voluntary pooling of surpluses.

In this group there are also a number of non-government amendments that seek to devolve the setting of additional parking charges to the mayor and assembly. The idea of involving the assembly is a frequent occurrence in Liberal Democrat amendments, but we do not consider that to be an appropriate role for the assembly as we propose to set it up. While we agree that the mayor should approve additional parking charges, we consider that our long stop safeguard of intervention by the Secretary of State is more appropriate than the involvement of the assembly.

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In the light of the government amendments setting up parking penalties and the other provisions within this group, I hope that the noble Baroness will not pursue the amendments tabled by the Liberal Democrat Front Bench. Taken together, I believe that these amendments provide an indication of the strategy that we are adopting towards parking in London and its regulatory framework. I beg to move.


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