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("( ) information about fares for journeys on such local services,").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, we agreed on Report to make it absolutely clear that a determination under Clause 139 in relation to bus information to be made available to the public should include information about bus fares. That was always our intention. Amendment No. 6 puts it beyond doubt. I beg to move.

Lord Bradshaw: My Lords, I thank the Minister for those comments.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 144 [Civil penalties for bus lane contraventions]:

Lord Bradshaw moved Amendment No. 7:

The noble Lord said: My Lords, a similar amendment to Amendment No. 7 was moved on Report. At that stage we drew attention to the need to help the bus industry, which is facing a serious revenue crisis. That was underlined in the bus industry over the past year when we saw turnover rising slowly and costs no longer falling.

The bus industry is struggling. Wages and fuel costs are rising and it received little help in the Pre-Budget Report--in fact, none that I can see. There was mention of £13 million being added to the rural bus service grant. But such issues as possibly reducing the amount and scope of fuel duty rebate were not addressed. The object of bringing forward this amendment again is to underline to Ministers the plight of the industry. It is often referred to, as it was

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in the Chancellor's Statement yesterday, as being important. But, interestingly, bus fares have increased enormously compared with the cost of motoring.

The Government listened carefully to motorists. They listened to the hauliers who used, in my view, undemocratic means to bring their plight to the notice of the country. Bus operators are too busy trying to run their services in accordance with the regulations to take part in blockades and otherwise inconvenience the public. But I wish to underline that, unless something is done to give buses better, unobstructed access to the public highway, within the next couple of years the Government will face a situation where many bus services which are now run commercially will require subsidy, and many will have to be curtailed. I am sure that that is not an end the Government seek.

Therefore, I ask the Minister again to consider how that priority might be enhanced. This series of amendments was tabled in consultation with local government. It was the one thing they wanted, second only to camera enforcement of bus lanes, to ensure that buses can move on the streets of our cities. I beg to move.

Lord Berkeley: My Lords, I support the principle behind these amendments, as I did on Report.

The noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw, has a point about the pre-Budget announcement yesterday. I was overwhelmed by the paragraph on introducing a green transport package where the first measure was a proposal to remove VAT from the purchase of cycle helmets. I am a cyclist and usually wear a helmet, and that provision will no doubt help me. But I am not sure that it is in quite the same league as sorting out the problems of yellow box junctions and buses. I cycle round London a lot and am really irritated by cars which stop in yellow box junctions. It is dangerous for cyclists and everyone else. But, more importantly, it stops the buses running.

The noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw, mentioned the plight of the bus industry--he is right to do so--but there is also the plight of the customers to be considered. The customers are not using the buses and therefore the industry cannot deliver the central plank of the Government's transport policy; that is, to get more people out of their cars and on to buses. I urge my noble friend, therefore, to see whether he can find a way of getting the same enforcement measures for yellow box junctions as for bus lanes. I am convinced that if people were fined £30 or £60 if they stopped in a yellow box junction and stopped the bus going through, they would not do it again. So I support the amendment.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I accept that the future prosperity of the bus industry, as well as the contribution that it makes to transport, particularly in our urban areas, depends on buses having unimpeded access through bus lanes and through the streets. We therefore provided an extension of local authorities' powers to allow them to enforce non-endorsable

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moving traffic offences. That included the issue of local authorities enforcing the yellow box junctions about which an amendment was tabled on Report.

But we are talking here about camera enforcement in an area which has not previously been subject to camera enforcement.

We believe that local authority enforcement represents a significant step change in the enforcement of road regulations law by bodies other than the police and that such an enforcement of bus lanes will make a significant difference. However, at this point we would not wish to take the further step of extending that to the more complex question of camera enforcement at yellow box junctions.

We know of only one limited experiment in which cameras were used by the Metropolitan Police to enforce yellow box junctions at Euston Road. We do not believe that that provides a basis for moving local authority camera enforcement into areas proposed by the noble Lord. In any event, as I pointed out at the Report stage, the amendments are defective. Amendment No. 9 defines a box junction by reference to a traffic order but the Traffic Signs Regulation and General Directions 1994 revoke the earlier requirement for box junction markings to be backed by an order. The amendment also attempts to define box junctions in primary legislation. Noble Lords have tried to do so by reference to the use of road markings described in specific diagrams in secondary legislation which is due to be superseded by a revised statutory instrument next year.

Primary legislation needs to be a little more flexible than that. We have all kinds of problems with previous road traffic legislation which has proved to be inflexible to the changing nature of roads. Therefore, it is not sensible to include these specific provisions in primary legislation.

I understand where the noble Lord is coming from. Perhaps at some point we will go down that road, but we do not have the experience that would enable us to do so immediately, nor is there the definition in the amendment. Allowing enforcement of bus lanes as proposed in the Bill is already a big step forward. I hope that the noble Lord will not pursue the amendment.

Lord Bradshaw: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his response. I hope that there will be an early opportunity to revisit the issue, perhaps when road traffic law is again reviewed. I realise that the subject is highly technical but, in withdrawing the amendment, I emphasise that it is an extremely urgent matter if we are to have reasonably priced, attractive public transport in towns. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 8 to 10 not moved.]

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Clause 145 [Mandatory concessions outside Greater London]:

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood moved Amendment No. 11:

    Clause 145, page 90, line 10, after ("person") insert ("or young person under the age of 19 years and undergoing full-time education and training").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this amendment to Clause 145 will add to those receiving concessionary fares young people between the ages of 16 and 19 who are in full-time education. We tabled the amendment in Committee and would have debated it again at Report. However, the groupings rendered it technically unavailable for discussion.

The benefits are obvious. Pupils who find the bus fares a problem would pay a lower fare, thereby encouraging them to stay on at school. Young people without their own cars would be better able to interact socially with their peers because of the lower cost of travelling by bus. There would also be a beneficial effect on transport policy. It is most important to encourage younger people to travel by public transport. An excellent example of that is the young person's rail pass, which encourages young people to travel by rail. Indeed, it is no drain on the resources of the rail companies and the overall effect of the card is beneficial to turnover, profits and so forth. Encouraging people of that age group to travel by public transport rather than by car will contribute to lowering congestion and perhaps accidents because they are particularly susceptible to them. The amendment may have the additional benefit of encouraging more people to use the bus services established by the Government's rural bus grant and other subsidised bus services maintained by local government.

In Committee, the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, suggested that the cost of the extension would be prohibitive. Since then, we have worked to estimate the costs. Without going into a detailed consideration of the final figure, it suffices to say that a major bus company commissioned research on subsidising travel for people in this age group. The conclusions showed that if government policy were to extend half-fare bus passes to everyone in the age group the total subsidy in England and Wales would be £50 million. While that sounds a large sum, it is probably reasonable because in Derbyshire, a large county which runs such a subsidy, the cost is about £1 million. That shows that the two figures are in the same ball park. We believe that it would be a rational investment in achieving an important result.

In Committee, the Minister drew our attention to what is now Clause 147 under which the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales has powers to amend the details of the concessionary fares scheme. Will the Minister say when the Government might reconsider the proposal? In answer to an amendment tabled by us at Report, he told us that it was his intention regularly to assess the cost and effectiveness of the concessionary fares scheme. We believe that a

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good time to reconsider the people who might benefit from an extension of the scheme would be after an assessment. We should be interested to know whether the Government have in mind a structured reconsideration of who might have the benefit of the concession and, in particular, if and when they will consider its extension to the age group we have in mind. I beg to move.

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