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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

London Local Authorities and Transport for London Bill [HL]


The Bill is promoted jointly by Westminster City Council (on behalf of the London borough councils including the Common Council of the City of London) and Transport for London (“TFL”). It makes provision for the improvement and development of the powers of the councils and TFL in relation to a number of highways and road traffic matters.



Clause 1 recites the short title of the Bill and the collective title and provides for the commencement of the Bill (except for Clauses 4, 5, 7 and 16) to be two months after Royal Assent.

Clause 2 sets out the major definitions of the Bill.

Clause 3 provides an appointed day procedure in respect of Clauses 4, 5, 7 and 16. This procedure enables those provisions to be brought into effect on a date which is appointed by the relevant council or by TFL.



Penalty Charges

Clause 4 enables borough councils and TFL to serve a penalty charge notice on the owner of a vehicle, where they have reason to believe that the person in control of the vehicle has acted in contravention of one of a certain number of road traffic orders or road traffic signs. It also makes particular provision in relation to the London lorry ban.

At present, breaching a road traffic order made under section 6 or section 9 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, or acting in contravention of a road traffic sign under section 36 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is a criminal offence. The purpose of Clause 4 and the following clauses is to decriminalise offences in relation to certain types of road traffic orders and road traffic signs. All of the offences to be decriminalised relate to the regulation of traffic.

It is envisaged that much of the enforcement will take place, in the same way that the enforcement of bus lane contraventions already takes place, with the use of cameras.

Where a contravention is detected, the registered keeper of the vehicle (or in the case of a lorry ban contravention, the person holding the HGV operator's licence) will be identified by reference to the number plate, and a penalty charge notice served on him. The keeper will be liable to pay the penalty charge in respect of all contraventions, except contraventions of the London lorry ban. In that case, liability to pay the penalty charge rests with the licensed operator of the HGV concerned and also with the driver. Provision is made so that when the penalty charge notice is served, the recipient is able to make representations stating that some other person is liable. He must provide the name and address of that person.

The procedure following service of a penalty charge notice is based upon the procedure which exists in relation to parking and bus lane contraventions in London. A discount is allowed for early payment of the penalty charge, representations can be made to the council or TFL, and if those representations are not accepted, an appeal can be made to a traffic adjudicator. If a penalty charge is not paid within a certain time, a charge certificate can be issued and the full amount of the penalty charge, together with a 50% uplift, can be recovered in the county court.

Clause 5 makes particular provision in relation to the lorry ban order, in relation to the identification of the driver of the vehicle and the making of representations in the case when the person served with the notice is not the person liable to pay the charge.

Clause 6 provides a time limit on the service of a penalty charge notice. The basic rule will be that penalty charge notices will have to be served within 28 days of the contravention, although there will be a flexibility where difficulties are encountered in obtaining keeper details from DVLA.

Clause 7 provides for the decriminalisation of those offences which under the Bill are to be covered by the penalty charge notice regime. Fixed Penalties

Clause 8 provides that authorised officers of the highway authority may serve a fixed penalty notice on persons whom they have reason to believe have committed certain offences. The offences concerned are listed in Schedule 4 to the Bill.

The fixed penalty notice gives the person on whom it is served the opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for the offence by payment of a fixed penalty.

Clause 9 makes further provision about the procedure to be followed in relation to the giving of fixed penalty notices.

Clause 10 provides that the highway authorities, through a Joint Committee, may fix the levels of fixed penalties. Further provision about the fixing of such penalties and the application of funds received under the fixed penalty regime is made under Schedule 2.

Clause 11 provides the Secretary of State with reserve powers in respect of the levels of charges which may be fixed by the highway authorities. He may reduce such levels where he considers them to be excessive. Parking

Clause 12 enables the borough councils and TFL to apply revenue from the parking regimes enforced by them towards the maintenance of highways. The application of such revenue is controlled by section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

Clause 13 makes provision about the time within which criminal proceedings may be brought in respect of offences where false applications have been made for parking permits. As it stands, because the offence is summary only, such prosecutions have to be brought within a certain time from the date of the actual offence. The clause ensures that the borough councils and TFL can bring prosecutions within six months of their discovering the true identity of the person who made the false application.

Clause 14 enables the borough councils and TFL to serve penalty charge notices in respect of cases where vehicles are parked at dropped footways. Dropped footways are those parts of the kerb which have been lowered to provide a point for pedestrians to cross the road or gain access to the highway in their vehicles. Where dropped footways lie outside the area within which parking controls operate, there is no liability to pay penalty charges for vehicles parked so as to obstruct them. This clause rectifies that anomaly.

Clause 15 alters the effect of paragraph 8 of Schedule 6 to the Road Traffic Act 1991. That paragraph makes provision for statutory declarations which can be made to the court by persons against whom a county court order has been made as a final resort under the existing parking regime. Such declarations can provide that the person either did not receive the original notice to owner in respect of the parking penalty, or made representations against the notice to owner but never received a response, or lodged an appeal but never received a decision.

As the law stands, the court is obliged to accept the declaration even if it is invalid. The first thing this clause does is to ensure that invalid declarations are not automatically accepted by the court.

The clause also makes provision about the late submission of statutory declarations. First, it enables the councils and TFL to argue that a declaration which is submitted later than the statutory time limit (21 days from the date of service of the county court order) should not be allowed to be considered. Secondly, it provides that if a late declaration is allowed, and is valid, then the council should not be liable to pay back any sums recovered under the order other than the increased parking penalty itself. Vehicle Crossings

Clause 16 makes provision about vehicle crossovers. Where the occupier of a property adjacent to highway habitually drives his vehicles over the verge or kerb to gain access to his property, the highway authority is, under the Highways Act, able to impose restrictions and conditions about the construction of the crossover. The authority is currently not able to prevent the kerb or verge being used as a crossover.

Clause 16 will enable the highway authority to so prevent the use of kerbs and verges in this way, in particular circumstances, for example, in order to prevent damage to the footway or verge or in order to facilitate the parking of vehicles on the highway. The clause provides the occupier of the property with a right to make representations, and thereafter, a right to appeal to the county court against any order requiring him to cease using the kerb or verge as a crossover.

The clause also provides that the council may carry out works preventing the use of the kerb or verge as a vehicle crossover. There are exceptions contained in the clause to ensure that it does not apply retrospectively to those who have carried out development for parking purposes with express or deemed planning permission. Removal Notices

Clause 17 provides highway authorities with enhanced powers to remove things unlawfully deposited on the highway, in cases where there is a continuing problem of such things being deposited on the highway in particular areas and by certain businesses. In such cases, the authority will be able to serve a notice stating that anything placed on the highway in the area concerned will be removed without further notice and that the authority will be able to dispose of the item. It also makes provision about things deposited on the highway which cause a danger, and the manner in which the authority may dispose of such things. The owner of the thing would be able to claim back the proceeds of any such disposal, less any reasonable charges incurred by the authority in removing, storing or disposing of it.

Clause 18 makes provision for the making of appeals in respect of notices served under Clause 17 and in respect of the disposal of items under that clause.

Clause 19 makes provision for the service of notices under Clause 17.



Clause 20 enables the borough councils and TFL to disclose information about the ownership of vehicles to other councils or TFL, where it is necessary to do so for the purposes of enforcing other road traffic legislation.

Clause 21 defines the term “authorised officer” under the Act.

Clause 22 makes it an offence to obstruct an authorised officer acting in the exercise of his powers under the Act.

Clause 23 provides that it shall be an offence to fail to furnish or to furnish a false name or address for service to an authorised officer of TFL where the authorised officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting the person has committed an offence in respect of which TFL may prosecute legal proceedings.

Clause 24 provides for a defence of due diligence in proceedings for offences under the Act.

Clause 25 makes provision about the liability of directors where offences under the Bill are committed by a body corporate.

Clause 26 makes provision for the making of regulations under the Bill.

Schedule 1 makes provision for charge certificates and other matters related to the enforcement of Clause 4 (Penalty charge notices for road traffic contraventions).

Schedule 2 makes provision about financial matters in relation to penalty charges and fixed penalties under the Bill. It enables the councils and TFL to apply surpluses in their accounts to certain transport-related functions.

Schedule 3 lists the traffic signs in relation to which offences are to be decriminalised under Clause 4 and made subject to the penalty charge notice regime.

Schedule 4 lists offences in respect of which fixed penalty notices may be served under Clause 8 of the Bill.


In the view of Westminster City Council and Transport for London the provisions of the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.

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