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Lord Roberts of Conwy: My Lords, I am grateful to all noble Lords who have spoken and made such valuable points, in particular the comment of my noble friend Lord Jopling about the need for the amendment in relation to the safety of birds. I am afraid that I totally disagree with the noble Lord, Lord Dubs. He began by saying that day and night access were much the same. As far as I am concerned, the great difference is that one can see by day but one cannot see by night. At night, one cannot see the unfenced quarry or the hazards which lurk in the dark.

Yes, we are concerned about safety, criminality and all the other factors. The Minister said that there are many areas where people are accustomed to walking at night and nothing untoward happens.

That is, I am sure, the case in many parts of England and Wales but there are also vast tracts of virtually unknown territory that are about to be declared access land. Living on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, I am very much aware of the dangers that already exist: the fatalities and the accidents that occur in Snowdonia by day. All one can do is simply to imagine what could happen with access at night.

So I do not think this is an absurd amendment in the extent of its application. Yes, of course there is no penalty for failure to notify, and it may well be that where night access is already available in popular areas

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people will not give prior notification. But surely in the new areas, where hazards abound, they should give prior notice of their intentions.

The Minister says that that will involve a huge administrative exercise. I simply cannot believe that is the case. As my noble friend Lord Jopling suggested much earlier in our proceedings, people could give prior notification by telephone so that at least someone would know their whereabouts in the event that they go missing or an accident befalls them.

I am very dissatisfied with the Government's reply, and am inclined to believe, as my noble friend Lord Renton has stated, that we shall have to come back to this with amending legislation in due course when we see what is the actual effect of this Bill and its consequences. In view of the inadequacy of the Government's reply, I shall test the opinion of the House.

5.33 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 4) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 80; Not-Contents, 185.

Division No. 2


Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Arran, E.
Attlee, E.
Blatch, B.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Brookeborough, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chadlington, L.
Colwyn, L.
Courtown, E.
Craig of Radley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Cranborne, V.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Ferrers, E.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glentoran, L.
Hambro, L.
Hanham, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Higgins, L.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Jopling, L.
Kingsland, L.
Liverpool, E.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mancroft, L.
Marlesford, L.
Marsh, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Montrose, D.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Noakes, B.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prior, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L. [Teller]
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Selborne, E.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stewartby, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wilcox, B.
Wolfson, L.
Young, B.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alderdice, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Attenborough, L.
Bach, L.
Barker, B.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bragg, L.
Brennan, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Crawley, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Elis-Thomas, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Ezra, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grabiner, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Greaves, L.
Greengross, B.
Grenfell, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Haskins, L.
Hattersley, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hooson, L.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Hutchinson of Lullington, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Islwyn, L.
Jacobs, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Longford, E.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Mitchell, L.
Molloy, L.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Newby, L.
Nicholson of Winterbourne, B.
Nicol, B.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Parekh, L.
Peston, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Razzall, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Roper, L.
Russell, E.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sharman, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shepherd, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Simon, V.
Simon of Highbury, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Wallace of Coslany, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Weatherill, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wigoder, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winston, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

23 Nov 2000 : Column 980

5.44 p.m.

Clause 3 [Power to extend to coastal land]:

Baroness Byford moved Amendment No. 5:

    Leave out Clause 3.

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I rise to move Amendment No. 5. In the very small hours of 4th October the Minister told the House that the Countryside Agency had advised the Government to extend the right of access to coastal land. He went on to say:

    "There was not enough time to sort out the matter and to undertake the necessary consultations, which I fully accept are necessary".--[Official Report, 3/10/00; col. 1427]

Because the Government have such a crowded schedule in both Houses we are to be denied the right to consider, debate and amend any of the regulations which will apply to the whole of the coastline of England and Wales. The procedure will be that of affirmative resolution, which is not the same as the full-blown Bill process. Areas of outstanding natural beauty were regarded as of such importance that they were added to this part of the Bill, yet coastal land covers many more thousands of miles than AONBs.

Access to coastal land is not the same as access to open country: the land itself, the pattern of ownership, the extent of existing access and the level of local authority control are different. Coastal land is subject to forces that do not apply further inland. One has in mind the miles of land on the east coast that have fallen into the sea and the many more which will, sadly, follow over the next few years. Coastal land is the edge of country; obviously, it is also the edge of the sea.

Many noble Lords will be aware that at the moment the maritime industry, of which we have spoken in earlier debates, is not very healthy. Our traditional relationship with the waters that surround us is under threat from global warming, other maritime nations and our actions. The question of open access to our coasts should be removed from the arena of the Bill and considered in the context of a maritime

23 Nov 2000 : Column 981

investigation. At least that might provide an opportunity for sufficient government time to consider this important subject properly. I beg to move.

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