Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Sixteenth Report



Part IV - Transport

Schedule 9 - Operating powers of Transport for London

Paragraph 18(1) of this schedule provides that the Secretary of State may authorise Transport for London (TfL) to purchase compulsorily any land that it requires for the purposes of its business or that of any TfL subsidiary. Paragraph 18(2) states that the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 shall apply in respect of any such compulsory purchase.

Purpose This paragraph reproduces the Secretary of State's current power in respect of London Regional Transport, conferred by paragraph 15 of schedule 2 to the London Regional Transport Act 1984. LRT have used the procedure to acquire land needed for, e.g., road access to a bus station.

Reason for proposing delegated power These powers are intended to enable the Secretary of State to scrutinise Mayoral or TfL proposals so as to ensure that powers are not exercised contrary to the public interest or to central Government policy. The alternatives would be -

  • prohibiting the Mayor or TfL from doing the thing in question, thereby obliging them to obtain the necessary authority through primary legislation on each occasion they wished to do it, or
  • setting out in the Bill detailed rules covering the exercise of the power in any given case.

Either of those alternatives would be an inappropriate means of regulating the day-to-day operations of a local authority.

Procedure: a compulsory purchase order is normally confirmed, or not, by administrative decisions in the name of the Secretary of State, according to procedures set out in the Acquisition of Land Act 1981. However, in certain circumstances, as described in that Act, before compulsory purchase may be authorised of special land, such as common, open space, certain allotments or land held inalienably by the National Trust, the order may be subject to special parliamentary procedure.

Those procedures are provided for by the Statutory Orders (Special Procedure) Acts 1945 and 1965, and Standing Orders of the House of Commons (237­248A). The procedures provide an opportunity for the deposition of petitions against the order. If petitions are received, and are certified by the Lord Chairman of Committees and the Chairman of Ways and Means as proper to be received, then unless either House has resolved to annul the compulsory purchase order, a specially formulated Joint Committee hears the case for and against the order.

CLAUSE 140 - DISTRIBUTION OF PROPERTY

Subsection (1) empowers the Mayor to make schemes transferring property, rights and liabilities between the Authority, Transport for London and subsidiaries of Transport for London.

Purpose To enable the property holdings and other rights of the Authority and TfL to be reordered as and when this is considered necessary for their day-to-day operations. The power enables debts and other contractual liabilities (such as obligations to season ticket holders) to be transferred without the consent of creditors and beneficiaries of other contractual rights which would otherwise be necessary.

Reason for use of delegated powers It would not be practical to ask Parliament to make provision for individual transfer in the Bill or to require the Authority or TfL to seek specific statutory powers on each occasion when a transfer of a contractual liability was proposed.

Procedure The scheme is not a statutory instrument and there will be no Parliamentary scrutiny. But the scheme will be subject to the consent of the Secretary of State where required under subsection (2).

Subsection (2) requires the Mayor to obtain the consent of the Secretary of State if he wishes to make a transfer scheme providing for the disposal of an interest in land where the disposal would, if it were a disposal by Transport for London, require the consent of the Secretary of State under clause 141.

Purpose Clause 140(2) is associated with clause 141 which places a requirement on Transport for London to obtain the consent of the Secretary of State before disposing of operational railway or tramway land. Clause 140(2) prevents such land being transferred through a transfer scheme to the Authority or another functional body and being disposed of without the Secretary of State's consent.

Reason for delegated powers If delegated powers were not used, consent would need to be given by primary legislation. The use of delegated powers (by way of an Order-making procedure) nevertheless enables the Secretary of State's decision to be subject to parliamentary control.

Procedure: Order made by Secretary of State, subject to the negative procedure.

Subsection (4) states that any question over whether consent is required under subsection (2) shall be determined by the Secretary of State.

Purpose The delegated powers here would protect purchasers (and TfL) by establishing whether consent was required.

Reason for delegated powers: If delegated powers were not used, the determination would need to be made by primary or secondary legislation. We believe that that would be an inappropriate way of regulating the day-to-day activities of TfL.

Procedure No Parliamentary procedure.

CLAUSE 141 - RESTRICTIONS ON THE DISPOSAL OF LAND

Subsection (1) requires Transport for London to obtain the consent of the Secretary of State to any disposal of a freehold interest (or the grant of a leasehold interest for more than 50 years) in operational railway or tramway land. Subsection (4) indicates that consent is to be given in an order made by the Secretary of State.

Purpose: The subsection restricts the ability of Transport for London to dispose of key strategic assets such as Underground and Docklands Light Railway lines and stations. Ministers have made clear that such assets should remain in the public sector.

Reason for proposing delegated powers: if delegated powers were not used, consent to individual disposals or the granting of individual leases would need to be given by primary legislation. The use of delegated powers (by way of an Order-making procedure) nevertheless enables the Secretary of State's decision to be subject to Parliamentary control.

As currently drafted, the Bill requires Transport for London to obtain the Secretary of State's consent to individual disposals. The Minister for Transport in London indicated in Standing Committee A that the Government did not wish to place excessive restrictions on the commercial freedom of Transport for London. The Government would therefore bring forward amendments designed to give Transport for London some operational flexibility in dealing with its property holdings while allowing it to retain in its strategy the principle that lines, stations and land needed to run the Underground system will not be sold.

Procedure: negative procedure.

Subsection (5) states that any question whether land is operational land within the meaning of the section shall be determined by the Secretary of State.

Purpose: The delegated powers here would protect purchasers (and TfL) by establishing whether consent was required.

Reason for proposing delegated powers: if delegated powers were not used, determinations would need to be made by primary or secondary legislation. We believe that that would be an inappropriate way of regulating the day-to-day activities of TfL.

Procedure: no Parliamentary procedure.

SCHEDULE 16: HACKNEY CARRIAGES

PARAGRAPH 5 - THE METROPOLITAN CARRIAGE ACT 1869

Subparagraph (6)(c) gives the Mayor a power of direction as to the basis on which taxi rates or fares are to be calculated.

Purpose: TfL will have the power, subject to that power of direction, to fix the level of taxi fares, via a London cab order, thereby replacing the Secretary of State's powers to make such orders by way of a statutory instrument. The power is modelled on a provision in clause 135(2)(a), which gives the Mayor a similar power in relation to public passenger transport services.

Reason for proposing delegated powers: Setting taxi fares is a high-profile issue, because the fare set has a direct bearing on taxi drivers' livelihoods and, equally importantly, their paying passengers. It is therefore considered that the Mayor should have a power to direct as to the basis on which taxi fares should be calculated, with the calculation itself carried out by TfL.

Procedure: No Parliamentary procedure.

CLAUSE 207 DESIGNATION OF FIRST GLA ROADS

This clause inserts a new section 14A into the Highways Act 1980 to provide a power for the Secretary of State to designate by order highways or proposed highways which are to be GLA Roads.

Purpose: This power enables the first GLA Road Network to be defined and ensures that any GLA roads which are currently trunk roads cease to be trunk roads. Once the first Mayor takes office, the power to make orders under this clause ceases and is replaced by a different provision - see clause 202.

Reason for proposing delegated power: It would be inappropriate to include such detail on the face of the Bill. This follows the approach taken with the definition of the priority (red) route network which was by order of the Secretary of State under section 50 of the Road Traffic Act 1991.

Procedure: Negative resolution procedure.

CLAUSE 208 - ORDERS BY THE AUTHORITY CHANGING WHAT ARE GLA ROADS

This clause inserts a new section 14B into the Highways Act 1980 to provide that the Mayor may by order direct that a borough highway (or proposed highway) shall become a GLA Road, or a GLA Road shall become a borough highway. The Mayor's order must be made with the consent of the borough highway authority or where consent is refused, it must be confirmed by the Secretary of State.

Purpose: This provision allows the Mayor to reach agreement with boroughs to transfer roads between local highway authorities in London. The Secretary of State only becomes involved if the Mayor and a borough cannot agree on a change.

Reason for proposing delegated power: The intention is to allow decisions on the relative status of local roads in London to be taken by the affected highway authorities, but to enable the Secretary of State to resolve cases where the highway authorities cannot agree.

Procedure: No parliamentary procedure.

CLAUSE 219: FIXING OF CERTAIN PARKING AND OTHER CHARGES

This clause amends section 74 of the Road Traffic Act 1991 which provides for the setting and approval of additional parking charges (these are penalty charges, charges for removal, storage and disposal of vehicles and charges for removing wheel clamps).

Purpose: The present section 74 provides for the Secretary of State to approve borough proposals for additional parking charges. The amendment ensures there are similar arrangements in respect of the setting of Transport for London charges.

Reason for proposing delegated power: This is consequent upon the setting up of Transport for London as a traffic authority. However, it should be noted that at Commons Committee stage, the Government undertook to consider whether the Secretary of State's role might be transferred to the Mayor (Standing Committee A; Hansard - Tuesday 9 March - Col 990). Following this consideration, it is likely that the present Bill provisions will be amended.

Procedure: No parliamentary procedure.

SCHEDULE 18: ROAD USER CHARGING

ENFORCEMENT, PENALTY CHARGES AND APPEALS

Paragraph 12 enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations how penalty charge levels for the non-payment of road user charges will be set, and arrangements for issuing penalty charge notices, follow-up enforcement action and arrangements for adjudication.

Paragraph 13(1), 13(2) and 13(3) enable the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations the arrangements for liability for road user charges, to make it a defence if the vehicle was not being driven with the consent of the registered keeper at the time a penalty charge was incurred, and to enable penalty charges to be recoverable as civil debts.

Paragraph 26(1) enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations arrangements for designated persons to examine a motor vehicle to check that a vehicle is displaying any electronic charging equipment, disk or permit required by a charging scheme.

Paragraph 27 enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations arrangements for removing or immobilising motor vehicles which are parked and have not paid road user charges.

Paragraph 28 enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations arrangements for determining disputes and appeals covering all aspects of non-payment of road user charges.

Paragraph 30 enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations arrangements for producing evidence of a fact relevant to non-payment of road user charges.

Purpose To provide for an equitable and efficient enforcement regime, with penalty charges and an appeals system, for any road user charging scheme brought forward in the Greater London area.

Reason for proposing delegated powers To provide the Secretary of State with the flexibility to change the arrangements for the enforcement of road user charging schemes as knowledge is gained about how schemes are best enforced. It will also provide the opportunity to ensure that enforcement arrangements in London can operate independently of, or be brought into line with, the enforcement provisions contained in future national road user charging legislation.

Procedure Negative resolution procedure, as specified in clause 325(5)(a)(i) and (6) of the Bill. Precedents already exist for use of delegated powers to deal with enforcement and penalty charges etc. For example, the power to make the Vehicle Excise Duty (Immobilisation, Removal and Disposal of Vehicles) Regulations 1997 was conferred by Sections 57(1), (2) and (3) of, and Schedule 2A to, the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994(a). Similarly the power to make the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions)(Fixed Penalty) Regulations 1997 was conferred by Sections 87(1), (2) and (5) of and paragraph 5 of Schedule 11 to the Environment Act 1995.

PARAGRAPH 16 - APPLICATION OF THE NET PROCEEDS

Subparagraph (2) enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations the arrangements for the retention and use of the net revenues from road user charges for schemes brought forward within the first 10 years of the GLA once a scheme's initial period has expired; and for any schemes brought forward after the 10th anniversary of the creation of the GLA.

Purpose To enable the Secretary of State to review and, if necessary change, the arrangements for 100 per cent hypothecation of charging revenues for transport purposes - specified in subparagraph 16(1) of the schedule. This is to ensure that charging revenues are spent on value for money measures once improvements to transport services and facilities have been put in place.

Reason for proposing delegated powers To enable the Secretary of State to review and subsequently change or continue the arrangements for the application of the net proceeds without the need for new primary legislation.

Procedure Affirmative resolution, as specified in clause 325(4)(a) of the Bill. The Secretary of State is required to assess how much revenue will be raised and the potential for spending the revenues on value for money transport purposes, and to consult the Authority, before tabling regulations.

Subparagraph (7)(b) enables the Secretary of State to specify that an individual charging scheme's initial period can be longer than 10 years.

Purpose: This could be needed, for example, if the Mayor wished to undertake a PFI-type deal, and the private sector required a guarantee that 100 per cent of the charging revenues would be available for more than 10 years.

Reason for proposing delegated powers: The expectation is that a scheme's initial period will be 10 years from the implementation of a scheme. But the Secretary of State needs to be able to decide whether an individual scheme should retain 100 per cent of the net revenues for longer than 10 years, depending on the type of scheme which may be brought forward, without recourse to primary or secondary legislation.

Procedure: No Parliamentary procedure.

PARAGRAPH 17 - PROVISIONS SUPPLEMENTARY TO PARAGRAPH 16

Subparagraphs (3), (4) and (5) enable the Secretary of State to issue guidance on what constitutes value for money transport expenditure. The guidance does not extend to other aspects of road user charging schemes. Charging authorities are required to comply with any guidance. The Secretary of State can vary the guidance at any time.

Purpose To ensure that road user charging revenues are spent on value for money integrated transport measures which deliver the greatest benefits to Londoners.

Reason for proposing delegated powers: It is necessary to draw up guidance, and to have the flexibility to vary this guidance to ensure value for money transport expenditure.

Procedure No Parliamentary procedure.

Subparagraph (6) enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations when a charging scheme's initial period starts and ends for the purpose of determining whether a scheme is a new scheme or an amended scheme.

Purpose This regulation-making power is needed to prevent inconsequential changes to a road user charging scheme triggering a further 10 years of 100 per cent hypothecation for transport purposes. The Secretary of State needs a power to decide what is a new scheme and what is an amended scheme for the purpose of retention and use of charging revenues. A new scheme will benefit from 100 per cent hypothecation for at least a further 10 years. An amended scheme will only benefit from 100 per cent hypothecation until the original initial period expires.

Reason for proposing delegated powers The Secretary of State needs the flexibility to determine what is a new scheme and what is an amended scheme without recourse to primary legislation.

Procedure Negative resolution procedure, as specified in clause 325(5)(a)(i) and (6) of the Bill.

SCHEDULE 19: WORKPLACE PARKING LEVY

Only paragraph 4 is unique to this schedule. The arrangements for the application of the net proceeds and for enforcement, penalty charges and appeals are identical to those contained in schedule 18 for road user charging.

PARAGRAPH 4 - POWER TO AMEND PARAGRAPH 3

Enables the Secretary of State to amend by regulations the definition of workplace parking for the purpose of determining which types of workplace parking should be included within the scope of the levy.

Purpose Paragraph 3 of Schedule 19 specifies the categories of workplace parking which will be included within the scope of the levy. The intention is that all workplace parking should be included within the scope of the levy. Paragraph 3 has been drafted to reflect this. But it is possible that businesses will seek to identify possible loopholes in terms of what constitutes workplace parking which they can exploit to avoid paying the levy. It is therefore important that the Secretary of State can quickly close any loopholes.

Reason for proposing delegated powers: There will be a need to be able to quickly close any loopholes which businesses may try to use to avoid paying the levy, without recourse to primary legislation.

Procedure: Affirmative resolution procedure, as specified in clause 325(4)(b) of the Bill. Although significant changes to the definition of workplace parking contained in paragraph 3 are not envisaged, it is appropriate to give Parliament the opportunity to consider changes to the definition as any change will affect the amount of revenue raised.

Enforcement, penalty charges and appeals

Paragraph 18 enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations how penalty charge levels for non-compliance with the terms of a workplace parking licence will be set, and arrangements for issuing penalty charge notices, follow-up enforcement action and arrangements for adjudication.

Paragraph 19(1) and 19(2) enable the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations the arrangements for liability for workplace parking charges and to enable penalty charges to be recoverable as civil debts.

Paragraph 20 enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations arrangements for determining disputes and appeals covering all aspects of non-compliance with the conditions of a workplace parking licence.

Purpose To provide for an equitable and efficient enforcement regime, with penalty charges and an appeals system, for any workplace parking levy scheme brought forward in the Greater London area.

Reason for proposing delegated powers To provide the Secretary of State with the flexibility to change the arrangements for the enforcement of workplace parking charging schemes as knowledge is gained about how schemes are best enforced. It will also provide the opportunity to ensure that enforcement arrangements in London can operate independently of, or be brought into line with, the enforcement provisions contained in future national workplace parking charging legislation.

Procedure Negative resolution procedure, as specified in clause 325(5)(a)(i) and (6) of the Bill. Precedents already exist for use of delegated powers to deal with enforcement and penalty charges etc. For example, the power to make the Vehicle Excise Duty (Immobilisation, Removal and Disposal of Vehicles) Regulations 1997 was conferred by Sections 57(1), (2) and (3) of, and Schedule 2A to, the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994(a). Similarly the power to make the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions)(Fixed Penalty) Regulations 1997 was conferred by Sections 87(1), (2) and (5) of and paragraph 5 of Schedule 11 to the Environment Act 1995.

PARAGRAPH 22 - APPLICATION OF THE NET PROCEEDS

Subparagraph (2) enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations the arrangements for the retention and use of the net revenues from workplace parking charges for schemes brought forward within the first 10 years of the GLA once a scheme's initial period has expired; and for any schemes brought forward after the 10th anniversary of the creation of the GLA.

Purpose To enable the Secretary of State to review and, if necessary change, the arrangements for 100 per cent hypothecation of charging revenues for transport purposes - specified in subparagraph 22(1) of the schedule. This is to ensure that the revenues are spent on value for money measures once improvements to transport services and facilities have been put in place.

Reason for proposing delegated powers To enable the Secretary of State to review and subsequently change or continue the arrangements for the application of the net proceeds without the need for new primary legislation.

Procedure: Affirmative resolution, as specified in clause 325(4)(b) of the Bill. The Secretary of State is required to assess how much revenue will be raised and the potential for spending the revenues on value for money transport purposes, and to consult the Authority, before directing arrangements which the Secretary of State considered to be suitable.

PARAGRAPH 23 - PROVISIONS SUPPLEMENTARY TO PARAGRAPH 22

Subparagraph (6) enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations when a workplace parking charging scheme's initial period starts and ends for the purpose of determining whether a scheme is a new scheme or an amended scheme.

Purpose This regulation-making power is needed to prevent inconsequential changes to a workplace parking charging scheme triggering a further 10 years of 100 per cent hypothecation for transport purposes. The Secretary of State needs a power to decide what is a new scheme and what is an amended scheme for the purpose of retention and use of the revenues. A new scheme will benefit from 100 per cent hypothecation for at least a further 10 years. An amended scheme will only benefit from 100 per cent hypothecation until the original initial period expires.

Reason for proposing delegated powers The Secretary of State needs the flexibility to determine what is a new scheme and what is an amended scheme without recourse to primary legislation.

Procedure Negative resolution procedure, as specified in clause 325(5)(a)(i) and (6) of the Bill.

Subparagraph (6) enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations when a charging scheme's initial period starts and ends for the purpose of determining whether a scheme is a new scheme or an amended scheme.

Purpose This regulation-making power is needed to prevent inconsequential changes to a workplace parking charging scheme triggering a further 10 years of 100 per cent hypothecation for transport purposes. The Secretary of State needs a power to decide what is a new scheme and what is an amended scheme for the purpose of retention and use of the revenues. A new scheme will benefit from 100 per cent hypothecation for at least a further 10 years. An amended scheme will only benefit from 100 per cent hypothecation until the original initial period expires.

Reason for proposing delegated powers: The Secretary of State needs the flexibility to determine what is a new scheme and what is an amended scheme without recourse to primary legislation.

Procedure: Negative resolution procedure, as specified in clause 325(5)(a)(i) and (6) of the Bill.


 
previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1999