Transport Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 9th November 2000.

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Photo of Lord Whitty Lord Whitty Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions 7:15 pm, 9th November 2000

My Lords, this amendment has been brought forward in response to representations on type approval made by the noble Earl, Lord Attlee, at Report stage.

The current wording of the Bill gives the Secretary of State powers to exempt vehicles from type approval only through regulation. Type approval is a system that is used to harmonise vehicle safety and environmental standards, thereby reducing technical barriers to trade. It is gradually being extended to cover many more vehicle types and more vehicle components.

The amendment, which would replace Section 63(5) of the 1988 Act, gives extra flexibility by adding to the existing regulating power an order making power. This has been limited to specified vehicles and specified persons, thereby distinguishing when regulations and orders should be used. I believe that it meets the noble Earl's concern that specialised vehicles would be caught by type approval.

The added flexibility to exempt vehicles by issuing an order will help ensure that as many generic classes of vehicle as possible are included within the scope of type approval. But where specialised vehicles--for example, prototypes or vehicles which are constructed for specific purposes, such as carrying abnormal loads--could not meet all the type approval requirements, they could be exempted by order. I believe that was the objective of the noble Earl's intervention last time. I thank him for bringing the point to our attention and I trust that the amendment will meet with his approval. I beg to move.