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Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 377 to 379:



    Page 64, line 28, leave out ("In").


    Page 64, line 28, after ("bridleways)") insert ("is amended as follows.


(2) In subsection (1)(b), for "so specified" there is substituted "specified in the order or determined".

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(3) For subsection (3), there is substituted--
"(3) Where it appears to the council that work requires to be done to bring the new site of the footpath or bridleway into a fit condition for use by the public, the council shall--
(a) specify a date under subsection (1)(a) above, and
(b) provide that so much of the order as extinguishes (in accordance with subsection (1)(b) above) a public right of way is not to come into force until the local highway authority for the new path or way certify that the work has been carried out.".
(4)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 380A to 382A not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 383:


    Page 66, line 10, at end insert--


(" .--(1) Section 119A (diversion of footpaths and bridleways crossing railways) is amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (2)(b), for "so specified" there is substituted "specified in the order or determined under subsection (7) below".
(3) For subsection (7) there is substituted--
"(7) Where it appears to the council that work requires to be done to bring the new site of the footpath or bridleway into a fit condition for use by the public, the council shall--
(a) specify a date under subsection (2)(a) above, and
(b) provide that so much of the order as extinguishes (in accordance with subsection (2)(b) above) a public right of way is not to come into force until the local highway authority for the new path or way certify that the work has been carried out.".").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 383A to 387 not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 388 to 390:


    Page 67, line 14, leave out ("so specified") and insert ("specified in the order or determined").


    Page 67, line 17, leave out ("authority") and insert ("council").


    Page 67, leave out lines 30 to 36 and insert--


("(8) Where it appears to the council that work requires to be done to bring the new site of the highway into a fit condition for use by the public, the council shall--
(a) specify a date under subsection (4)(a) above, and
(b) provide that so much of the order as extinguishes (in accordance with subsection (4)(b) above) a public right of way is not to come into force until the local highway authority for the new highway certify that the work has been carried out.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendment No. 390A not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 391 to 393:


    Page 67, line 44, leave out ("opposed") and insert ("unopposed").


    Page 68, line 13, leave out ("opposed") and insert ("unopposed").


    Page 69, line 8, leave out from ("carriage-way") to end of line 11.

The noble Lord said: I beg to move.

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Baroness Byford: Is Amendment No. 393 necessary? Mechanically propelled vehicles are unable to use restricted byways, so there can be no question of providing a suitable surface. I may be mistaken. Perhaps the Minister would clarify that.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: Both that amendment and Amendment No. 398 relate to the new powers to divert in the circumstances as set out. They remove provisions in proposed new Sections 119B and 119E, relieving local highway authorities of any obligation when diverting a restricted byway to provide a service on the new line which is suitable for motor vehicles. As there is no right of way for motorised vehicles on restricted byways, the noble Baroness is quite right: the provisions are otiose and therefore likely to cause confusion.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: Is the noble Baroness proposing to put an otiose amendment to the Committee?

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: No, I am putting an amendment to the Committee to remove an otiose provision.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Lord Glentoran moved Amendment No. 393A:


    Page 70, line 26, leave out ("subject to subsection (4) below").

The noble Lord said: There appears to be a slip in the Bill (no offence meant). It is not apparent how the exercise of the order power in proposed new Section 119D(3) of the Highways Act is subject to subsection (4). That subsection merely states that such an order is an "SSSI diversion order". It may be that the reference should be to subsection (5). However, no such "subject to" reference is contained in the equivalent provision for the crime prevention diversions of new Section 119B(4) on page 67, line 1 of the Bill. Therefore, our amendment proposes to delete that reference.

I also want to speak to Amendment No. 396A, which requires notice to be given to the owners and occupiers of land when English Nature proposes to make a diversion order for the protection of SSSIs. I do not believe that I need to make a case for that. It appears to us to be right to give people advance notice of what is happening on their land. I beg to move.

Lord Whitty: With regard to Amendment No. 393A, I believe that the noble Lord is right in relation to the cross-reference, which should be to subsection (5) rather than subsection (4). However, the substance of his amendment, which would delete that reference entirely, would have the undesirable effect of enabling an order to be made diverting a right of way so that it leads nowhere or on to a highway which is not connected with the original route. That could, in other words, create a dead end. Therefore, I accept that, with the typographical correction, the substantive move to delete that cross-reference would be undesirable.

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I believe that the conservation bodies would agree that we should not extinguish rights of way in order to protect SSSIs if adequate powers for diversions are in place. The diversion orders in the Bill are modelled on the existing public path order legislation, which also prevents the creation of a cul-de-sac. However, we have recognised the special nature of SSSI diversion orders by removing two of the conditions; namely, that the confirming authority is satisfied that the diversion will not be substantially less convenient to the public and that the line of the diverted path connects with a highway at a point which is substantially as convenient to the public. Therefore, those two conditions are removed but not the general condition.

I have some sympathy with what the noble Lord said with regard to Amendment. No. 396A. It would require English Nature or the Countryside Council for Wales to give notice of their application for an SSSI diversion. Perhaps the noble Lord will give me leeway to consider that amendment. I believe that he has a point and we shall return to the matter at the next stage of the Bill.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: That is very good news. I believe that including,


    "the owner and occupier of any land",

crossed by a highway in addition to,


    "such persons as may be prescribed",

is rather peculiar. I hope that the noble Lord will not only consider the matter but will come back with an amendment. I believe that he is quite right to agree to that.

Lord Roberts of Conwy: I am sure that the Minister is absolutely right to give further consideration to this matter. It certainly seems odd that a path or bridleway could be diverted on to land of the same or another owner, lessee or occupier for the purpose of preventing damage. It would certainly be strange if that were to happen simply by order and without a proper process of consultation with the new owner who might be affected.

Lord Glentoran: The principal intention of our Amendment No. 393A is to point out that there is probably a slip in the drafting. I thank the Minister for acknowledging that. As I understand it, the reference will now be to subsection (5) as opposed to subsection (4). The Minister nods and I accept that.

I am deeply grateful and thank the Minister for what he said about Amendment No. 396A. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 394 and 395:


    Page 70, line 40, leave out ("so specified") and insert ("specified in the order or determined").

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    Page 70, line 53, leave out from beginning to end of line 5 on page 71 and insert--


("(6) Where it appears to the council that work requires to be done to bring the new site of the highway into a fit condition for use by the public, the council shall--
(a) specify a date under subsection (3)(a) above, and
(b) provide that so much of the order as extinguishes (in accordance with subsection (3)(b) above) a public right of way is not to come into force until the local highway authority for the new highway certify that the work has been carried out.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.


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