Transport Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART II, LOCAL TRANSPORT - continued
Bus services: quality partnership schemes - continued

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Regulations about schemes.     122. - (1) The appropriate national authority may by regulations make further provision with respect to-
 
 
    (a) the procedure to be followed when making, varying or revoking quality partnership schemes,
 
    (b) the local services or classes of local services which must be, or may be, excluded from schemes,
 
    (c) the conditions which must be, or may be, attached to such exclusions,
 
    (d) the form and manner in which undertakings are to be given to the traffic commissioner in connection with schemes,
 
    (e) the making of traffic regulation orders in connection with schemes, and
 
    (f) such other incidental matters in connection with quality partnership schemes as the appropriate national authority thinks fit.
      (2) The regulations may in particular make provision with respect to-
 
 
    (a) giving notice of proposed schemes or proposed variations or revocation of schemes,
 
    (b) objections to such proposals,
 
    (c) the holding of inquiries or hearings into objections,
 
    (d) modifications of such proposals,
 
    (e) the form of schemes or variations, and
 
    (f) giving notice of schemes which have been made or of the variation or revocation of schemes.
Guidance about schemes.     123. - (1) The appropriate national authority may issue guidance concerning the carrying out by local transport authorities and metropolitan district councils of their functions under this Part in relation to quality partnership schemes.
 
      (2) Those authorities and councils must have regard to any such guidance.
 
 
Bus services: quality contracts schemes
Quality contracts schemes.     124. - (1) A local transport authority, or two or more such authorities acting jointly, may make a quality contracts scheme covering the whole or any part of their area, or combined area, if they are satisfied that-
 
 
    (a) making a quality contracts scheme is the only practicable way of implementing the policies set out in their bus strategy or strategies in the area to which the proposed scheme relates, and
 
    (b) the proposed scheme will implement those policies in a way which is economic, efficient and effective.
      (2) A quality contracts scheme may not be made unless the authority or authorities-
 
 
    (a) have complied with the notice and consultation requirements imposed by section 125, and
 
    (b) have obtained the approval of the appropriate national authority in accordance with section 126.
      (3) A quality contracts scheme is a scheme under which-
 
 
    (a) the authority or authorities determine what local services should be provided in the area to which the scheme relates and any additional facilities or services which should be provided in that area, and
 
    (b) local services may only be provided in that area in accordance with quality contracts (subject to section 127(4)).
      (4) In this Part "quality contract", in relation to a quality contracts scheme, means an agreement entered into under section 130 or 131 under which-
 
 
    (a) the authority or authorities grant to another person the exclusive right to operate the local services to which the contract relates, and
 
    (b) that person undertakes to provide the services on such terms (including in particular as to frequency, fares and standard of service) as may be specified in the agreement.
      (5) A quality contract may be made on terms-
 
 
    (a) which include provision for the making of payments by the authority or authorities to the person undertaking to provide the local service, and
 
    (b) requiring one or more of the parties to provide additional facilities or services.
      (6) Section 88(1) of the Transport Act 1985 (application to subsidy agreements of sections 89 to 92 of that Act) does not apply in relation to quality contracts.
 
      (7) The authority or authorities must keep under review the extent to which quality contracts entered into by them are complied with.
 
      (8) In carrying out their functions under this Part in relation to quality contracts schemes, local transport authorities must co-operate with one another.
 
      (9) In considering whether to make a quality contracts scheme, a local transport authority must have regard to the desirability, in appropriate cases, of making a scheme jointly with another authority.
 
Notice and consultation requirements.     125. - (1) If an authority or authorities propose to make a quality contracts scheme, they must give notice of the proposed scheme in at least one newspaper circulating in the area to which it relates.
 
      (2) The notice must-
 
 
    (a) describe the proposed scheme,
 
    (b) state where a copy of the scheme may be inspected, and
 
    (c) state their reasons for wishing to make the scheme.
      (3) After giving notice of the proposed scheme, the authority or authorities must consult-
 
 
    (a) all persons operating local services in the area to which it relates,
 
    (b) all other persons holding a PSV operator's licence or a community bus permit who would, in the opinion of the authority or authorities, be affected by it,
 
    (c) such organisations appearing to the authority or authorities to be representative of users of local services as they think fit,
 
    (d) any other relevant local authority any part of whose area would, in the opinion of the authority or authorities, be affected by it,
 
    (e) the traffic commissioner for each traffic area covering the whole or part of the area to which it relates,
 
    (f) the chief officer of police for each police area covering the whole or part of that area, and
 
    (g) such other persons as the authority or authorities think fit.
      (4) For the purpose of subsection (3)(d) the following are relevant local authorities-
 
 
    (a) local transport authorities,
 
    (b) district councils in England,
 
    (c) London transport authorities, and
 
    (d) councils in Scotland.
      (5) The authority or authorities may modify the proposed scheme following those consultations.
 
Approval of proposed scheme.     126. - (1) If, having complied with section 125, the authority or authorities wish to proceed with the proposed scheme they must apply to the appropriate national authority for its approval.
 
      (2) The application must include-
 
 
    (a) their reasons for wishing to make the scheme, and
 
    (b) such other information as the appropriate national authority may reasonably require.
      (3) Any person consulted under section 125(3) may make written representations to the appropriate national authority about the scheme.
 
      (4) The appropriate national authority may approve the proposed scheme, with or without modifications, if it is satisfied that-
 
 
    (a) the conditions set out in paragraphs (a) and (b) of section 124(1) are met, and
 
    (b) it is in the interests of the public that the scheme is made.
      (5) If the appropriate national authority proposes to approve the scheme with modifications, it must first inform the authority or authorities and they must-
 
 
    (a) consult such of the persons they consulted under section 125(3) as would, in their opinion, be affected by those modifications, and
 
    (b) inform the appropriate national authority as to the outcome of that consultation.
      (6) After being informed of that outcome the appropriate national authority may approve the scheme either with those modifications or without modifications.
 
Making of scheme.     127. - (1) If the appropriate national authority approves the scheme, the authority or authorities who proposed it may make it as approved at any time not later than six months after the date of the approval.
 
      (2) The scheme must specify-
 
 
    (a) the area to which it relates,
 
    (b) the date on which it is to come into operation, which must not be earlier than 21 months after the date on which it is made, and
 
    (c) the period for which it is to remain in operation, which must not be more than ten years.
      (3) The scheme must outline-
 
 
    (a) the local services which are to be provided under quality contracts, and
 
    (b) the features of the proposed invitations to tender for quality contracts.
      (4) The scheme may provide that-
 
 
    (a) local services specified in it, or
 
    (b) local services of a class specified in it,
       are to be excluded from the scheme, subject to such conditions (if any) as may be specified in it.
 
      (5) The scheme may contain such ancillary provisions as the authority or authorities think fit.
 
      (6) The scheme may include provision-
 
 
    (a) varying or revoking any quality partnership scheme which only relates to the area of the authority, or combined area of the authorities, by which the scheme is made, or
 
    (b) varying any other quality partnership scheme to the extent that it so relates.
      (7) If provision is made under subsection (6)(b) to vary the quality partnership scheme so that it no longer so relates, such of the authorities by which it was made as did not make the quality contracts scheme-
 
 
    (a) may (subject to the provision so made) vary it if they decide that it is appropriate to do so, or
 
    (b) may revoke it if all persons who have given an undertaking to provide a service to a standard specified in the scheme consent to the revocation of the scheme (which consent must not be unreasonably withheld);
       and subsections (3) and (4) of section 120 apply to a variation or revocation under this subsection.
 
      (8) Not later than 14 days after the date on which the scheme is made, the authority or authorities must-
 
 
    (a) give notice in at least one newspaper circulating in the area to which the scheme relates, and
 
    (b) send a copy of the scheme to the traffic commissioner for each traffic area covering the whole or part of that area.
      (9) The notice must state-
 
 
    (a) that the scheme has been made,
 
    (b) where a copy of the scheme may be inspected, and
 
    (c) the date on which the scheme is to come into operation.
      (10) The appropriate national authority may by order vary the period mentioned in subsection (2)(b).
 
 
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