Relaxation in Trial Areas of Operat Ors' Duties to Co-Operate and Exchange Information

Transport Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:30 am on 25th June 1980.

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Lords amendment: No. 16, after clause 14, in page 15, line 23, at end insert—

  1. (1) Subject to subsection (3) the duties of public passenger transport operators under the provisions mentioned in subsection (2), being duties to co-operate with and afford information to one another, shall not apply in relation to a service so far as it is provided within a trial area.
  2. (2) The provisions referred to in subsection (1) are—
    1. (a) section 24(2) and (3) and the Transport Act 1968 (services in passenger transport areas);
    2. (b) section 1(1)(c) of the Transport Act 1978 (services in England and Wales outside passenger transport areas); and
    3. (c) section 151(1)(b) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (services in Scotland outside passenger transport areas).
  3. (3) Subsection (1) shall not affect the duties of public passenger transport operators to co-operate with or afford information to—
    1. (a) a Passenger Transport Executive;
    2. (b) a county council; or
    3. (c) a regional or islands council, for the purpose of the discharge by any such Executive or council of its function of coordinating passenger transport services.
  4. (4) In this section "public passenger transport operators" means persons providing public passenger transport services within the meaning of section 1(2) of the Transport Act 1978.

Photo of Mr Norman Fowler Mr Norman Fowler Minister of State (Department for Transport)

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

This new clause is a redrafted version of one which was urged on us by Opposition Members here and in another place. It relieves operators of the duty placed on them by earlier statutes to co-operate with one another and tell one another what they are doing. Although I do not accept all that we have been told on the subject, I agree that a duty to co-operate is at variance with the principles of competition lying behind the trial areas provision.

I should point out that operators are not being relieved of the duty to cooperate with county councils. The county councils will continue to have an important role in trial areas. It is only the duty to co-operate with one another that is removed.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 17 and 18 agreed to.