RAILWAYS AND TRANSPORT SAFETY BILL |
16. This bill, in seven Parts, deals with a number
of different subjects including -
- Investigation of Railway Accidents (Part 1)
- Office of Rail Regulation (Part 2)
- British Transport Police (Part 3)
- Alcohol and Drugs - Shipping and Aviation (Parts
4 and 5).
In particular, Part 1 implements some of the recommendations
of the second part of the Report of the inquiry into the Ladbroke
Grove rail crash.
17. With some exceptions (listed in paragraphs
10 and 11 of the Explanatory Notes to the bill) this bill extends
to the whole of the UK.
18. The delegated powers are identified in the
memorandum to the Committee from the Department for Transport
(and there is also a power at clause 7(1)(c)). The memorandum,
which is printed in Annex 2 to this Report, includes a table listing
the provisions containing the powers and the relevant Parliamentary
19. The delegated powers in the bill include
a number of Henry VIII powers (at clauses 1(2), 72(4), 80(2),
82(2), 92(4), 93(8) and 95(2), paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 4 and
paragraph 2(d) and (o) of Schedule 6). All the Henry VIII powers,
save that in paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 4, are subject to affirmative
20. In this Report we draw to the attention of
the House two delegated powers: the Henry VIII power in paragraph
1(2) of Schedule 4 and a power under clause 104.
Paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 4
21. Paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 4 prescribes the
membership of the British Transport Police Authority as an odd
number between 11 and 17 (inclusive). Paragraph 1(2) allows the
Secretary of State by order to substitute a different number for
the 11 or 17. The power is unusual in that it is a Henry VIII
power subject to no Parliamentary procedure other than laying.
The Committee is aware that this provision repeats for the Authority
the position for police authorities under section 4(2) of the
Police Act 1996. We, none the less, take the view that it is inappropriate
for power to be exercised under paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 4 without
some level of parliamentary scrutiny. We therefore recommend
that the negative procedure should apply in this case.
22. Clause 104 enables regulations (subject to
the negative procedure) to require those who provide railway services
to pay a railway safety levy. As this is a significant new charge,
and as the proposals for the charge are not yet fully developed
(see paragraph 124 of the Department's memorandum), we recommend
that the first exercise of this power should be subject to affirmative
procedure so as to require an opportunity for debate on, and parliamentary
approval of, the finalised scheme as brought into operation. The
negative procedure provided for in the bill should apply thereafter.
23. Save for the recommendations in paragraphs
21 and 22 above, there is nothing in the delegated powers in the
bill to which the Committee wishes to draw the attention of the