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(4A) The provision referred to in subsection (4) above is--
(a) provision substituting").



(c) may specify") and insert ("and
(b) provision substituting").

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    Page 142, line 5, leave out from beginning to ("may") in line 6 and insert--


("( ) On an application under this section on the ground mentioned in subsection (1)(c) above the court, if satisfied that the ground is established,").


    Page 142, line 11, leave out ("a") and insert ("the").


    Page 142, line 22, after first ("the") insert ("relevant").


    Page 142, line 25, leave out ("and at such time and place,") and insert ("at such place and by such date").


    Page 142, line 26, at end insert--


("(7B) The amount of the sum may not exceed 10 per cent. of the turnover of the relevant operator determined in accordance with an order made by the Secretary of State; and an order under this subsection shall not be made unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing it has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.
(7C) If the whole or any part of the sum is not paid by the date by which it is to be paid, the unpaid balance from time to time shall carry interest at the rate for the time being specified in section 17 of the Judgments Act 1838."").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 227 [Extension of functions]:

[Amendments Nos. 277 to 279 not moved.]

[Amendment No. 280 not moved.]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston moved Amendment No. 281:


    After Clause 233, insert the following new clause--


PUBLICATION OF PROPOSED CLOSURES AT STATIONS
(" .--(1) In section 43 of the Railways Act 1993 (notification of proposed closures), after subsection (1) insert--
"(1A) The Authority shall also--
(a) send a copy of the notice to every person who is the operator of a station within the area affected; and
(b) require him to publish it at the station."
(2) After subsection (12) of that section insert--
"(12A) The Secretary of State shall also--
(a) send a copy of the decision to every person who is the operator of a station within the area affected; and
(b) require him to publish it at the station."
(3) In Schedule 5 to that Act (alternative closure procedure), renumber paragraph 2 as sub-paragraph (1) of that paragraph and after that sub-paragraph insert--
"(2) The operator shall also--
(a) send a copy of the notice to every person who is the operator of a station within the area affected; and
(b) require him to publish it at the station."
(4) After paragraph 3 of that Schedule insert--
"Publication of consent at stations
3A. Where the Secretary of State has given his consent under paragraph 3(2)(b) above, he shall--
(a) send a copy of it to every person who is the operator of a station within the area affected; and
(b) require him to publish it at the station."
(5) In paragraph 5A of that Schedule (services in and around Greater London), insert at the end--
"(10) The Secretary of State shall also--
(a) send a copy of his decision to every person who is the operator of a station within the area affected; and
(b) require him to publish it at the station."

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(6) In sub-paragraph (1) of paragraph 6 of that Schedule (interpretation), for "in which the station or the line, or any part of the line, affected by the proposed closure is situated" substitute "affected".
(7) After that sub-paragraph insert--
"(1A) In this Schedule "the area affected" means the area in which the station or line, or any part of the line, affected by the proposed closure is situated."").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, these amendments relate to railway closures. Amendment No. 281 relates to the advertisement of proposed railway closures at stations and follows the acceptance by the Government of the principle behind an amendment tabled in Committee by the noble Baroness, Lady Wilcox. The amendment will ensure that notices of all railway closures proposed under the Railways Act 1993 are displayed at stations in the area that would be affected by the closure. This will apply in the case of closures proposed by the Strategic Rail Authority under Sections 37 to 42 of the Railways Act, and closures proposed by any railway operator subject to the alternative closure procedure in Schedule 5 to the Act, such as London Underground Limited.

When we debated the noble Baroness's amendment in Committee, we said that a difficulty with requiring the Strategic Rail Authority to publish notices of closure proposals at stations was that the authority did not have the power to do this without the station operators' consent. We agreed to take the amendment away to consider the options for providing the authority with an appropriate power. After reviewing the options we have placed an obligation on the face of the Bill on the SRA--and also operators under the Schedule 5 procedure and the Secretary of State where he is responsible for publishing closure decisions--to send a copy of the notices to relevant station operators and to require them to publish the notices at their stations.

Our amendment also seeks to achieve proper consistency between the closure provisions of the Railways Act. That is why we have amended Schedule 5 so that the alternative closure procedures more closely mirror those in the body of the Act; and why we have given the Secretary of State powers parallel to those of the authority to require operators to publish his notices of closure decisions at their stations. Previously, while Section 43(12) of the Act required the Secretary of State to publish decision notices at stations, there was no express provision obliging the station operators to co-operate.

The effect of Amendment No. 281 will be to ensure that passengers who might be affected by a closure will be able to see the proposal readily, at relevant stations, at an early stage and make any representations.

Amendment No. 335 is consequential on Amendment No. 281, and adds to an existing repeal in Schedule 30 relating to Section 43 of the Railways Act. It repeals certain words from Section 43(12) in order to avoid repetition following the new provisions that will be introduced by Amendment No. 281.

As regards my noble friend's Amendment No. 282, we should certainly not expect the authority to approve lightly any proposal to close a passenger

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network, or part of a network, or make a decision on a minor closure, without considering its wider purposes as set out in Clause 204.

The authority has wide-ranging purposes under Clause 204 to promote the use of the railway for the carriage of passengers and goods, to secure the development of the railway network, and to contribute to the development of an integrated system of transport of passengers and goods. Under Clause 206(1) these purposes must influence all its deliberations and there is no need to reiterate these purposes for each of the authority's functions. They are the reasons for establishing the authority.

I should, however, clarify that the role of the authority in major closure cases (that is, closures that might affect passengers) is not to make the final decision. Its role is to make a preliminary assessment as to whether the closure should be permitted, and to advertise this publicly if its opinion is that it should be permitted. The final decision will rest with the Secretary of State, who will consider each case in the light of any representations he receives and the reports made to him by the independent rail passengers' committees. There are, therefore, safeguards built into the process to ensure that all the issues relevant to the major closure proposals are taken into account before any final decision is made. I beg to move.

10.15 p.m.

Lord Berkeley: My Lords, I shall speak briefly to Amendment No. 282, even though my noble friend the Minister has given me a satisfactory answer. I am extremely grateful to him. Although it sounds as if things will be perfect in the future, I should just like to illustrate the fact that they are not quite right yet. The chief executive of the SRA has recently recommended the closure of a light rail depot in Holyhead, which is used for parking passenger trains. It is conveniently no longer required by the passenger train operator because the Welsh Assembly has put a compulsory purchase order on the corner of the site for the purpose of building a new road. However, I am reliably informed that the latter could have been moved sideways so that this particular site would not be touched.

The site in question is said to be the last possible for an intermodal terminal in Holyhead for transferring freight from the ferries on to rail; indeed, there is no other site available there. I find it extraordinary that the shadow SRA is recommending a closure when one of its objectives is to promote freight, as well as passengers. I find it equally extraordinary that the Welsh Assembly is promoting this when one of its objectives is to encourage rail freight. Both of them are actually hindering rail freight despite a statutory duty to promote it. It is good to hear from my noble friend the Minister that, in the future, the rail freight industry will be consulted on such matters. Let us hope that this is just a one-off situation and that things will be just as my noble friend so nicely explained in his response to my amendment.

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