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It is also my task to identify the fact that if this House should vote for this amendment it would have an indefensible and unacceptable consequence. It may not be intended by the movers of the amendment, but that will be the effect. That is one of the reasons why the amendment should be rejected.

Lord Hanningfield: My Lords, as I expected, we have had a long debate on the amendment. As I said at the beginning, it is a very contentious issue and there are some very strong feelings about it. I regret the last part of the discussion because we all know that if the House agrees to my amendment today we will get another chance to discuss it again. Unless the other place accepts the amendment, there will probably be another chance to discuss it. We got a bit bogged down on the technicalities of when we table amendments. Of course, we take advice. We do not always have the advice that the Government have, but if we have to discuss this matter again we can take further advice.

The issue is not resolved. No one in this House would disagree that people should receive the sort of punishment that suits the crime. However, some of us feel that this potential new legislation might sometimes stop that happening and that courts would acquit people when they should be convicting them, due to the fine dividing line between something that should not have happened because of a person’s action and something that did happen. Parliament is not the place to make these judgments. We have heard some rather emotional speeches in which people have said that Parliament should be the place that decides

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on this matter—but the courts should decide. We feel very strongly that this legislation is not, as the Minister has said, leaving the power with the courts; it is taking power away from courts and giving it to Parliament, which it should not do. That is why there are strong feelings about it.

With that, I should like to test the opinion of the House.

8.51 pm

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 6A) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 104; Not-Contents, 89.

Division No. 5


Addington, L.
Attlee, E.
Barker, B.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Blaker, L.
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Bruce-Lockhart, L.
Burnett, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Chidgey, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Cotter, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crathorne, L.
Cumberlege, B.
De Mauley, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Dykes, L.
Eames, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Fookes, B.
Freyberg, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Goodhart, L.
Greenway, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Howard of Rising, L.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Inglewood, L.
James of Blackheath, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jones of Cheltenham, L.
Jopling, L.
Kingsland, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Laird, L.
Lee of Trafford, L.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
Lyell of Markyate, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Maginnis of Drumglass, L.
Mar and Kellie, E. [Teller]
Marland, L.
Marlesford, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Morrow, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Noakes, B.
Northover, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Razzall, L.
Rennard, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L.
Rogan, L.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Saatchi, L.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Shephard of Northwold, B.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Taylor of Holbeach, L.
Teverson, L.
Thomas of Winchester, B.
Tope, L.
Ullswater, V.
Waddington, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.

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Acton, L.
Adonis, L.
Amos, B. [Lord President.]
Anderson of Swansea, L.
Andrews, B.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bilston, L.
Boyd of Duncansby, L.
Bradley, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Chandos, V.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B. [Teller]
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Ford, B.
Foster of Bishop Auckland, L.
Foulkes of Cumnock, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Brookwood, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Haskel, L.
Haworth, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Jones of Whitchurch, B.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McDonagh, B.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Quin, B.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rooker, L.
Rosser, L.
Rowlands, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Simon, V.
Smith of Finsbury, L.
Snape, L.
Soley, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Bolton, B.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Norwood Green, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

9.03 pm
“(aa) in paragraph (b), after “conducted” insert “, conditions which must be satisfied during the currency of an appointment, the charging of reasonable fees in respect of applications for appointment or appointments or in connection with any examination or assessment which may be required before appointment or during the currency of any appointment”,” “Compulsory surrender of old-form licences (1) The Secretary of State may by order require the holders of licences of a specified description, or any specified description of the holders of such licences, to surrender the licences and their counterparts to the Secretary of State.

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(2) An order under this section may specify as the description of licences to be surrendered— (a) licences which are not in the form of a photocard, or (b) licences in the form of a photocard of a description no longer specified by the Secretary of State as a form in which licences are granted. (3) An order under this section must specify the date by which the licences to which it relates (and their counterparts) are to be surrendered; and may specify different dates in relation to different descriptions of licence holders. (4) An order under this section must include provision for the grant of a new licence to every holder of a licence surrendered (with its counterpart) in pursuance of the order who— (a) pays such fee (if any) as is specified by the order, and (b) provides the Secretary of State with such evidence or further evidence as the Secretary of State may require (which may include a photograph which is a current likeness of him). (5) A replacement licence granted pursuant to provision made by virtue of subsection (4) above expires on the date on which the surrendered licence would have expired had it not been surrendered (but subject to subsection (6) below). (6) Where the period for which the surrendered licence was granted was based on an error with respect to the licence holder’s date of birth such that (if the error had not been made) that licence would have been expressed to expire on a different date, the replacement licence expires on that different date. (7) A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with any requirement to surrender a licence and its counterpart imposed by an order under this section is guilty of an offence. (8) An order under this section may— (a) make different provision for different cases, and (b) contain such incidental and supplementary provisions as the Secretary of State considers appropriate. (9) The power to make an order under this section is exercisable by statutory instrument. (10) Before making an order under this section the Secretary of State must consult with such representative organisations as he thinks fit. (11) A statutory instrument containing an order under this section is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.”

“RTA section 98A(7)

Driving licence holder failing to surrender licence and counterpart.

Section 6 of this Act.”

“RTA section 98A(7)

Driving licence holder failing to surrender licence and counterpart.


Level 3 on the standard scale.

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“Fee for renewal of photocard licence and issue of certain alternative licences (a) in subsection (7) (grant of new licence free of charge on surrender of photocard licence after ten years, in cases of error and on change of name or address), omit “and any licence granted under this subsection shall be granted free of charge”, and (b) After that subsection insert— “(7ZA) The Secretary of State is not required by subsection (7) above to grant a new licence on the surrender of a licence and its counterpart by a person in pursuance of subsection (2A) above unless the person has paid the fee (if any) which is prescribed; but any other licence under that subsection is to be granted free of charge.”

Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 7 to 10.

Section 89 of the Road Traffic Act on tests of competence to drive enables the Secretary of State to make regulations about tests of competence to drive. Section 89(3)(b) provides for those regulations to cover the qualifications, selection and appointment of persons to conduct driving tests. That provision is used to enable employees of certain organisations, such as the MoD, police, fire brigades and some bus companies to conduct driving tests on behalf of the Secretary of State as delegated examiners.

In the modern environment we need flexibility in terms of the training that a person may need to undertake in order to become, and remain, approved as a delegated examiner. For example, as delegated examiners need to maintain and develop their expertise following their initial appointment, we would wish to discuss with them the introduction of continuing professional development.

Amendment No. 7 amends Section 89(3)(b) so as to make the scope of the regulation-making powers more explicit. It also permits the Secretary of State to charge reasonable fees in connection with the initial and continuing approval of delegated examiners. This links with Clause 36(5) of the Bill. The combined effect of these two provisions is to create an environment in which we can move away from the existing arrangements for recovering the costs incurred by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in the appointment, and subsequent quality assurance, of delegated examiners. The DSA currently charges delegated examiners for the supply of the test result certificates they issue for the driving tests they conduct. These charges are intended to cover the costs the DSA incurs in respect of delegated examiners. This is an unsophisticated and blunt recovery mechanism as the agency’s costs are not directly related to the number of tests conducted by an individual examiner. It is, therefore, inequitable and at odds with the “user pays” principle.

Amendment No. 8 is a consequential amendment arising from Amendment No. 7.

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Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 7 to 10.—(Lord Davies of Oldham.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

“Immediate suspension and revocation of drivers’ licences “(2A) Subject to subsection (2B) of this section, a suspension or revocation of the licence of a driver under this section takes effect at the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which notice is given to the driver under subsection (2)(a) of this section. (2B) If it appears that the interests of public safety require the suspension or revocation of the licence to have immediate effect, and the notice given to the driver under subsection (2)(a) of this section includes a statement that that is so and an explanation why, the suspension or revocation takes effect when the notice is given to the driver.” “(3) Subsection (2) of this section does not apply in relation to a decision under subsection (1) of section 61 of this Act which has immediate effect in accordance with subsection (2B) of that section.”” “Abolition of “contract exemption”

Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 11 and 12.

These are the principal amendments dealing with taxis and private hire vehicles, sometimes known as minicabs. They introduce two new clauses. The remaining amendments in this group are consequential to the two new clauses. They both have the same objective—to make travel safer for people who use these modes of transport. Against the background of the Bichard report and the legislation that we have brought forward in that regard, we have looked carefully at whether we should use the opportunity presented by the Road Safety Bill to deal with any urgent safety concerns in taxi and PHV legislation. The result is these new clauses to deal with two worrying aspects of the legislation that we identified.

Amendment No. 11 addresses our concern about a taxi or PHV driver’s right to continue working while appealing against a decision to suspend or revoke his licence, even if he is considered to present an immediate threat to public safety. The clause provides local licensing authorities in England and Wales, outside London, with a new power, which will enable them to suspend or revoke a taxi or PHV driver’s licence with immediate effect on safety grounds. This power has already been available to the licensing authority in London—Transport for London—for a number of years.

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A driver’s automatic right to continue working pending appeal has been a source of justified concern to many taxi and PHV licensing authorities. They want to use their licensing powers to ensure that passengers are safe using local taxi and PHV services. They play a tremendously important role in protecting residents and visitors who make use of taxis and PHVs in their areas. The amendment will equip them to do so even more thoroughly in circumstances, for example, where a driver has committed a serious offence or is suffering from a medical condition that makes it unsafe for them to continue working.

Amendment No. 12 addresses our concern about what is commonly known as the “contract exemption”; the provision that exempts drivers, vehicles and operators outside London from licensing if the vehicles are hired only under contracts lasting seven days or more. During the earlier passage of the Bill, concerns were raised about what is now Clause 47. The House will be aware that this clause tightens the definition of a private hire vehicle in London and will bring vehicles dedicated to contract work within the London PHV licensing regime. One of the points made in the earlier discussion was that the clause would be inconsistent with the retention of the contract exemption outside London. Ministers promised to consider this matter. Having done so, the conclusion that we came to is that public safety, and indeed consistency, require that we ensure that contract private hire work is licensed both in London and elsewhere. That is why we have brought forward the new clause in Amendment No. 12.

There are no compelling reasons why private hire services provided under long-term contracts should be outside the arrangements for ensuring public safety that are considered to be essential for other private hire work. The need to ensure public safety remains the same regardless of whether the hiring is a one-off or part of a long-term contract. For a passenger possibly at risk, the method of hiring is scarcely relevant; what is important is that there is no doubt that all the necessary checks and procedures have been comprehensively and effectively carried out. There are good grounds for removing the contract exemption to ensure a level playing field in the industry; unlicensed contractors have a commercial advantage over their licensed counterparts, which cannot be justified.

Both these new clauses are strongly supported by those who have responsibility for taxi and PHV licensing, and they have been welcomed by many in the industry. I commend them to the House as being necessary to safeguard the public, and I urge the House to agree to these amendments.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 11 and 12.—(Lord Davies of Oldham.)

Earl Attlee: My Lords, I am sure that these amendments are very sensible and desirable. Will the Minister either say what the appeal arrangements are or undertake to write me a short note to explain how any appeal against the revocation would work?

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Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, I will write in full to the noble Earl. He will recognise that the first part of the process is to deal with the issue of appeal. Obviously, in those circumstances the rights of the individual need to be protected, and we have guaranteed that. I will write to him in detail about that.

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