House of Commons
Other Private Bills before Parliament
Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)
London Local Authorities and Transport for London (No.2) Bill [HL]
[AS AMENDED IN COMMITTEE]
Clause 1 deals with citation and commencement. It provides that some of the operative provisions of the Bill should come into operation two months after Royal Assent. Other clauses would come into force on a day or on days to be appointed by the London borough council in question or Transport for London ("TfL"). The detailed procedure which must be followed by the councils and TfL when appointing a day for the commencement of the provisions of the Bill are contained in Clause 3. Clause 2 sets out definitions of certain expressions used in the Bill. It defines "London authority" as London borough council or TfL, and that expression will be used in this Explanatory Memorandum.
Clause 4 deals with the attachment of street lamps and traffic signs to buildings. Section 45 of the Public Health Act 1961 enables street lighting authorities (who include London borough councils and, for the purposes of section 45, TfL) to attach street lamps and associated equipment to buildings. Under subsections (2) to (4) and (8) of section 45, provisions are made about the requirement to obtain the consent of the owner of the building in question.
Similar provision is made in relation to traffic signs under section 74 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. Under both provisions, the owner of the building is entitled, under certain circumstances, to claim compensation from the authority in question if the powers are exercised.
Different provisions apply in the City of London under section 53 of the City of London (Various Powers) Act 1900 and section 75 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The consent of the owner of the building is not required in either case (except in the case of railway undertakers).
The main effect of Clause 4 is to bring London authorities' powers under sections 45 and 74 more into line with those enjoyed by the City Corporation. This is done by disapplying the consent provisions in sections 45 and 74 as they apply in London, except in the City. Unlike in the legislation applying to the City, Clause 4 would require the London authority to give 56 days written notice to the owner of the building before exercising their powers under sections 45 and 74, and the requirement to obtain consent is retained not just for railway undertakers but other statutory undertakers as well.
The clause also sets out a number of other detailed requirements about the content of the notice that must be served on the owner, including details of the equipment or sign to be attached, and information on how representations can be made about the proposal. Provisions about compensation are also made in relation to damage caused by the affixing of traffic signs. Similar provisions are already contained in the existing legislation relating to street lamps.
Clause 5 makes provision about the service of notices under Clause 4.
Clause 6 makes provision about damage to highways caused as a result of the carrying out of works on land adjacent to the highway.
Section 133 of the Highways Act 1980 provides for the recovery of expenses incurred by a highway authority incurred in remedying damage to a footway caused by or as a consequence of the carrying out of works on land adjoining it. Clause 6 would replace section 133 with provisions for London that would enable the highway authority to recover their expenses of remedying such damage to any part of the highway, not just the footway.
Part 3 makes provision about the depositing of builders' skips on the highway in London. The depositing of builders' skips is already controlled under sections 139 to 140A of the Highways Act 1980. Those sections provide that the permission of the highway authority is required before any builder's skip is placed on the highway. The highway authority can place conditions on the permission including conditions relating to the lighting and guarding of the skip. There are also provisions in the 1980 Act requiring the owner of a builder's skip to secure that the skip is properly lighted during the hours of darkness, and that any regulations made by the Secretary of State about the marking of the skip are properly complied with. Responsibility for ensuring compliance with the provisions of section 139 of the Highways Act lies with the "owner" of the builder's skip and that term is defined in section 139(11). It provides that the owner, in relation to a builder's skip which is the subject of a hiring agreement of not less than one month, or a hire purchase agreement, means the person in possession of the skip under the agreement.
Failure to comply with the provisions of section 139 (including failure to comply with conditions of a permission, and failing to obtain permission at all) is a criminal offence for which the owner is liable.
Clause 7 makes provision for the interpretation of terms in Part 3. Clause 7 enables a highway authority to require the "relevant person" to provide them with information about who the "owner" of the skip is, in order to determine who penalty charge notices should be served on in respect of decriminalised contraventions of the Highways Act 1980. The "relevant person" is defined as the person to whom permission was given under section 139 of the Highways Act, or the person from whom the skip was hired, or the bailor in a hire purchase agreement. It would be an offence to fail to comply with the authority's request for information within the specified compliance period, or to give false information.
Clause 9 makes provision for the decriminalisation of offences under section 139 of the Highways Act 1980 as it applies in London. Under Part 4 of the London Local Authorities Act 2007, a regime for the administration of decriminalised offences is set out in some detail.Clause 9 would have the effect of applying those detailed provisions to decriminalised offences under section 139. Clause 9 provides that the owner of the builder's skip (see above in relation to Clause 8) would be liable to pay any penalty charge arising from a contravention of a decriminalised offence. If the skip is hired out to another person, then the owner would be able to recover penalty charges from the hirer.
The provisions of the Act of 2007 will allow representations to be made against the imposition of penalty charge, and appeals to be made to an adjudicator. The grounds for making such representations and appeals are set out in subsection (6) of Clause 9.
Clause 10 alters the powers of the highway authority to place conditions on the giving of a permission for placing a skip on the highway. It will enable the authority to include a condition that the skip has lights or a guard or system of guarding that is an integral part of the skip.
Clause 11 provides highway authorities with powers to light and cover skips in cases where requirements as to lighting and covering have not been complied with. The clause enables the highway authority to recover any expenses reasonably incurred in lighting or covering the skip.
Clause 12 would enable a highway authority to fix an immobilisation device to a skip in cases where they have also served a penalty charge notice (see Clause 9). The clause also makes requirements of the authority to affix a notice to the skip providing information about how to secure its removal and there are offences for unlawfully removing the skip or the notice.
Clause 13 sets out the circumstances under which a skip will be released from an immobilisation device. It will be removed when the penalty charge and a release fee are paid.
Clause 14 makes additional provision about appeals against penalty charges in cases where a skip has been immobilised under Clause 12. It provides that where representations or an appeal have been made successfully, the highway authority must refund any charges made for the release of the skip as well as the penalty charge for the contravention.
Part 4 contains a single provision relating to road traffic.
Clause 15 deals with cases where the local traffic authority has made a road traffic regulation order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 so as to prevent the passage of vehicles or any class of vehicles into out of or along a highway, and has also placed a gate or other barrier on the highway to ensure that the order is complied with. Sometimes the barriers are authorised to be opened, for example, by the emergency services. Whilst it is an offence to drive along the road in breach of the road traffic regulation order, it is not an offence to interfere with the barrier unless criminal damage is caused. Clause 15 makes it an offence to open, close or otherwise interfere with a barrier without lawful excuse.
CHARGING POINTS FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Part 5 enables London authorities to provide and operate charging apparatus for electrically powered motor vehicles on highways.
Clause 16 provides the principal power for London authorities to provide charging apparatus on highways for which they are responsible as highway authority. Under the clause the London authority may also grant other persons permission to provide or operate charging apparatus. The clause applies section 115D of the Highways Act 1980 which provides restrictions on the exercise of similar powers under that Act. It ensures that in exercising the powers, the London authorities would not be able to exercise them so as to prevent traffic, other than vehicular traffic, entering the highway at any place where it could enter before, or passing along the highway, having normal access to premises adjoining the highway; or to prevent any use of vehicles which is not prohibited by a traffic order; or to prevent statutory undertakers and telecommunications code system operators having access to apparatus. Detailed provision is made in relation to cases where the London authority has given permission for someone else to provide charging points, namely that the permission can be subject to such conditions as the London authority think fit and requiring the payment of reasonable charges. There are also provisions about liability in respect of injury, damage or loss arising from the presence of charging apparatus on the highway.
Clause 17 sets out a procedure for giving notice before a London authority can exercise its powers under Clause 16 to provide charging apparatus or grant permission to others to do so. A notice must be posted near to the place where the apparatus is intended to be installed and owners and occupiers of the premises appearing to be affected must also be served.
Clause 18 places London authorities under a requirement to consult other highway authorities who are the highway authority for the highway in question, and the local planning authority before exercising any powers under Clause 16. There are also special provisions relating to highways maintained by railway undertakers.
Clause 19 makes provision about the unlawful use of charging points provided under Part 5. It provides that it is an offence to use charging apparatus in contravention of a sign displayed on the apparatus which indicates that the apparatus is not to be used for any purpose other than a vehicle, and that it is an offence to so use the apparatus. Defences are set out in subsection (2).
LONDON LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND TRANSPORT FOR LONDON ACT 2008
Part 6 consists of one clause, namely Clause 20. It makes two minor alterations to the London Local Authorities Act 2008, one to correct a minor drafting error and the other to repeal a provision which has become redundant because of another repeal.
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
In the view of the 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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