Transport Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 9th November 2000.

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Photo of Baroness Thomas of Walliswood Baroness Thomas of Walliswood Liberal Democrat 5:30 pm, 9th November 2000

My Lords, I did not intend to speak in the debate and I shall be brief. I too have been lobbied, quite properly, by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC). I have co-operated with that body on a number of occasions in terms of putting across its point of view here. But it seems to me that the proposition here is a simple one; namely, that it should not be possible for a station manager or owner to issue an exclusive contract to groups of ordinary cars, or to groups of companies providing them. Outside London there are hackney carriages which comprise ordinary cars, as well as the black top variety. Only if black top cabs are able to enter a station forecourt are people with disabilities likely to be able to get a taxi which suits their needs. That is what this matter is all about. If the noble Lord, Lord Swinfen, is satisfied with the Minister's response, that is one thing. However, if he is not, we shall be tempted to support him.