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"(2A) In the 1995 Act, after section 67 there is inserted
"67A EXERCISE OF DISCRETION UNDER SECTION 67(5A)
(1) Before the Secretary of State decides which of the parliamentary procedures available under section 67(5A) is to be adopted in connection with the making of any particular order under section 47(1), he must consult the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee.
(2) An order under section 47(1) may be made without a draft of the instrument that contains it having been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament only if
(a) regulations under subsection (3) are in force, and
(b) the making of the order without such laying and approval is in accordance with the regulations.
(3) Regulations may set out the basis on which the Secretary of State, when he comes to make an order under section 47(1), will decide which of the parliamentary procedures available under section 67(5A) is to be adopted in connection with the making of the order.
(4) Before making regulations under subsection (3), the Secretary of State must consult
(a) the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, and
(b) such other persons as he considers appropriate.""
"( ) In the 1995 Act, after section 67A (which is inserted by subsection (2A)) there is inserted
"67B ANNUAL REPORT ON RAIL VEHICLE EXEMPTION ORDERS
(1) The Secretary of State must after each 31st December prepare, in respect of the year that ended with that day, a report on
(a) the exercise in that year of the power to make orders under section 47(1); and
(b) the exercise in that year of the discretion under section 67(5A).
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(2) A report under subsection (1) must (in particular) contain
(a) details of each order made under section 47(1) in the year in respect of which the report is made; and
(b) details of consultation carried out under sections 47(3) and 67A(1) in connection with orders made in that year under section 47(1).
(3) The Secretary of State must lay before each House of Parliament each report that he prepares under this section.""
"(1B) All orders made under subsection (1)(a) or (b) shall expire on 1st January 2020.
(1C) No order shall be made under subsection (1)(a) or (b) after 1st January 2020.
(1D) This section does not apply to heritage rail.""
The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, it will also be convenient to discuss Amendment No. 13. There is uncertainty now that the government amendment has been carried because the latter part gives the Government continued powers to make exemptions after 2020 so the deadline is nowhere near as firm as we would have liked to have seen it. However, of course we accept the opinion of the House in that respect.
I move this amendment to ask the Government two questions. First, as far as concerns the situation after 2020, is it the Government's intention that exemptions made before 2020which are in operation when that date arrivesall have a limit of 1 January 2020? Alternatively, under the procedures that they have now carried, could the Government continue to make exemptionsfor example, in November 2019that could run on for five years after that date?
It would be helpful to know whether the Government intendno doubt the Minister can assure usthat all exemptions shall not run beyond 2020, in the sense that they may have been granted in 2019 for a five-year period, or something of that sort. Am I right in assuming that it is the Government's intention that they should not do so?
The second part of this amendment is concerned, as indeed is Amendment No. 13, with the position of heritage railways. In the light of the Government's amendment having been carried, I presume that it is their intention to continue seeking exemptions for heritage railways. To that extent, my Amendment No. 13 would not be necessary. However, as far as concerns what one might call "running exemptions", it is important to establish whether they will stop in 2020 or whether they could be granted before 2020 for a period that expires after that time. I beg to move.
Baroness Masham of Ilton: My Lords, as the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, feels so strongly about these
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exemptions, will the Minister tell us what they are, because many people in your Lordships' House have queried that?
It is a fair point to ask, but the intention of Amendment No. 6 is that every vehicle will be regulated except those that are exempt. The House has now accepted the Government's argument that the exemption procedure will be very limited, but the noble Lord has asked a fair point to which I believe my noble friend the Minister now has an answer, so I can sit down.
Baroness Hollis of Heigham: Not quite my Lords; I am still pursuing the answer. The noble Lord, Lord Higgins, has indeed wrong-footed me on his first question. I agree that it is an entirely proper one and criticise myself for not having pursued the matter.
To go back a step, we certainly all agree that heritage railways should be exemptthat is the Government's intentionso that they will continue to be exempt from the RVAR and the power to do that already exists. By not moving Amendment No. 13, I think that the noble Lord recognises that.
The noble Baroness, Lady Masham, asked what exemptions we are talking about. They are a combination of things. Obviously, I do not want to repeat the previous discussion that we had and I am sure that the noble Baroness would not want me to, but exemptions would include heritage vehicles, or where vehicles on the Glasgow underground or the Victoria Line could not be made fully compliant because of the infrastructure.
There could also be issues of possible innovation; for example, you want to pilot something and the vehicle involved may temporarily not be covered, and so forth. Perhaps a handrail is a millimetre outa fault that can be corrected but only over a period of time. The carriages would be called in and an exemption order would be needed to allow the correction to be made. I was making the point that all such exemptions beyond 2020 would have to have the affirmative approval of the House. If the House thought they were not reasonable, it would not agree to them.
As for the regulations after 2020, the Government would propose that any exemptions which start before 2020 and which would run beyond 2020 would be subject to the affirmative procedure by virtue of the regulations we would make under Amendment No. 9. If, for example, one introduced regulations for an exemption in 2018, it would, in my judgment, have to
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specify an end date if it were to run beyond 2020, such that Parliament would decide whether it was acceptable. Otherwise, a fresh set of regulations would have to be introduced.
Baroness Masham of Ilton: My Lords, I am worried about heritage because English Heritage has been most unhelpful towards disabled people. They have made this an excuse on many things, making various places inaccessible. I know that churches have had to pay out millions because of English Heritage.
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