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Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 100 and 101:



("( ) In subsection (11), for "(5A)" substitute "(5ZA)".").


    Page 251, line 22, after ("(6)") insert (", (6A)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

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Schedule 17, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 205 agreed to.

Schedule 18 agreed to.

Clause 206 agreed to.

Schedule 19 agreed to.

Clause 207 agreed to.

Schedule 20 agreed to.

Clause 208 agreed to.

Schedule 21 agreed to.

Clauses 209 to 212 agreed to.

6.15 p.m.

Clause 213 [Penalties]:

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston moved Amendment No. 102:


    Page 131, line 10, leave out ("included a reference to anything which is likely to be done") and insert ("or omitted to be done included a reference to anything which is likely to be done or omitted to be done").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 213, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 214 [Orders for securing compliance]:

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston moved Amendment No. 103:


    Page 135, line 8, leave out ("subsection (5), (5A) or (5B)(a) or (b)") and insert ("any provision contained in any of subsections (5) to (5B)").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 214, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 215 agreed to.

Schedule 22 [Renaming of rail users' consultative committees]:

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston moved Amendments Nos. 104 to 107:


    Page 266, line 8, leave out ("subsections (6),") and insert ("subsection (6)--


(a) for "consultative committee" substitute "Rail Passengers' Committee", and
(b) for "the committee" substitute "the Rail Passengers' Committee".
( ) In subsections").


    Page 269, line 35, after (""committee"") insert ("(in each place)").


    Page 271, line 10, at end insert--

("Channel Tunnel Act 1987 (c.53)

. In section 41(1) of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987 (consultative committees), for the words from "Central" to "Users Consultative" substitute "Rail Passengers' Council and each of the Rail Passengers' ".").


    Page 271, line 21, at end insert--


(" . In paragraph 11(3) of Schedule 18 (minutes of London Transport Users' Committee meetings), for "Central Rail Users' Consultative Committee" substitute "Rail Passengers' Council".").

The noble Lord said: I spoke Amendments Nos. 104 to 107 with Amendment No. 96. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

27 Jun 2000 : Column CWH50

Schedule 22, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 216 and 217 agreed to.

Schedule 23 agreed to.

Clauses 218 and 219 agreed to.

Schedule 24 [Review of access charges by Regulator]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 108:


    Page 280, line 20, leave out ("may") and insert ("shall").

The noble Lord said: In moving this amendment, I should like to speak also to Amendment No. 109. These amendments are a refinement to the provisions which apply following a reference to the Competition Commission of matters relating to the modification of a railway operator's licence or an access charge review. A competition report would follow a reference where the regulator or the authority proposes modifying a company's licence and the company does not agree, or where Railtrack or another railway facility owner objects to access charges proposed by the regulator.

Under the Railways Act 1993, if the Competition Commission considers that a matter referred to it operates against the public interest, the rail regulator or the authority, where something relates to consumer protection, may propose changes to a licence to an access agreement if the referred matter relates to an access charge review. Under the provisions of Clause 229--I am speaking now to Amendment No. 109--the Competition Commission may veto the proposed changes if it does not consider that those changes meet its concerns. It may then substitute its own amendments.

As currently drafted, the Competition Commission does not have to substitute its own amendments following a veto, but failure to act would result in a stalemate. These amendments prevent such a stalemate by requiring the Competition Commission to follow a veto with its own amendments. Similar amendments have been made to Part I of this Bill and to the Utilities Bill. I beg to move.

Lord Bradshaw: Perhaps I may ask the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh, a question for clarification. Am I right in thinking that if an objection is made by Railtrack or a facility owner to access charges, the right to make that objection does not extend to people defined as "beneficiaries" in the Bill; namely, bodies like Freightliner, as an example?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I can give the noble Lord the assurance that it does not extend in that way.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 24, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 220 to 227 agreed to.

Schedule 25 agreed to.

Clause 228 agreed to.

Clause 229 [Licence modifications following Competition Commission report]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 109:


    Page 145, line 45, leave out ("may") and insert ("shall").

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On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 229, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 230 to 234 agreed to.

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston moved Amendment No. 110:


    After Clause 234, insert the following new clause--


SUBSTITUTE SERVICES TO BE SUITABLE FOR DISABLED PASSENGERS
(".--(1) This section applies where--
(a) a person who provides services for the carriage of passengers by railway provides or secures the provision of substitute road services, or
(b) the Authority secures the provision of such services (under an agreement entered into in pursuance of section 202).
(2) In doing so the person or Authority shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the substitute road services allow disabled passengers to undertake their journeys safely and in reasonable comfort
(3) In the event of any failure by the person or Authority to comply with subsection (2), he or it shall be liable to pay damages in respect of any expenditure reasonably incurred, or other loss sustained, by a disabled passenger in consequence of the failure.
(4) The Secretary of State may by order grant exemption from subsection (2) to--
(a) any class or description of persons who provide services for the carriage of passengers by railway, or
(b) any particular person who provides such services,
in respect of all substitute road services or any class or description of such services.
(5) Before making an order under subsection (4) the Secretary of State shall consult--
(a) the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, and
(b) such other representative organisations as he thinks fit.
(6) An order under subsection (4) shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
(7) In this section "substitute road services" means services for the carriage of passengers by road which are provided where railway services have been temporarily interrupted or discontinued.
(8) For the purposes of this section a passenger is disabled if he has a disability, or has suffered an injury, which seriously impairs his ability to walk.").

The noble Lord said: This new clause is designed to ensure that where substitute road services are provided in place of rail services, the substitutes will be suitable for passengers with mobility problems. This meets an undertaking given in Committee in another place, and at Second Reading in this House. The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee has welcomed stronger requirements on train operators and has been consulted on the drafting of the new clause.

The definition of disability covers both a person with a permanent disability and a person with a short-term mobility problem such as a broken leg which affects the ability of the passenger to walk. The emphasis is on impaired mobility so it is understandable that the definition does match entirely that used for other purposes such as concessionary fares. But it is consistent in key respects.

27 Jun 2000 : Column CWH52

This new clause is concerned with those passengers who are unable to access in safety and reasonable comfort the substitute services which have been secured. Other disabled people, for example sensory-impaired people and people with learning disabilities, are generally physically able to use the services. We would fully expect, however, that the train operators and the SRA would instruct the operators of substitute services to provide reasonable assistance to those passengers to ensure that they are able to complete their journey with confidence.

The new clause is not prescriptive about what type of substitute vehicle is required. The duty is simply to provide transport that is sufficient to allow the passenger to complete the journey safely and in reasonable comfort. This approach reflects the fact that it will be some time before fully accessible road vehicles are generally available. If we insisted that road vehicles must be compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act regulations in the strict sense, it would be all too easy for train operators to claim that it was not reasonably practicable to procure accessible vehicles.

The clause will cover train operators, including the SRA when it secures the provision of substitute services. There is a power to exempt from the requirements but it is likely that this power will be used only in a limited range of cases, for example, heritage railways. The new clause provides for statutory consultation on exemptions with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. The passenger will be entitled to claim damages through the courts. It is expected, however, that the more normal route by which any failings will be addressed in respect of train operating companies will be through the franchise agreements or licensing. However, a passenger who was unable to complete a journey and incurred expenses, such as hotel expenses or the hire of other transport, would be able to claim for his or her loss.

If disabled passengers are to have the same service as that offered to others, it is important that they can travel in confidence knowing that if substitute services are used they will be able to finish their journey safely and in reasonable comfort. I beg to move.


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