Bus Services Bill [HL] - Committee (2nd Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 4th July 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Viscount Younger of Leckie Viscount Younger of Leckie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 7:00 pm, 4th July 2016

My Lords, I will speak to a group of amendments to Clause 4 and Schedule 2. Amendments 54 to 64 and Amendment 75 relate to the period which must expire before services can be provided under local service contracts. The Bill as introduced provides that at least six months must expire between a contract being awarded and provision of the relevant service, with the aim of providing a suitable period of transition for bus operators. These amendments do not change the policy but merely tidy up the Bill to ensure that this provision is clear.

Amendment 65 makes it clear that where a franchising scheme is varied to add an area which relates to another local authority, that authority must play an active part in the variation processes. This corrects the drafting of the Bill but does not change the policy intention. It has always been the Government’s intention that authorities that will have a franchising scheme covering the whole or part of their combined area should play a part in making or varying the scheme.

Amendment 76 amends the Local Transport Act 2008 to remove provisions relating to quality contract schemes for areas in England which were inserted into the Transport Act 2000. My noble friend Lord Ahmad wrote to noble Lords on 16 June providing notice of the government amendments he would be bringing forward in Committee. That note provides a fuller explanation of the precise changes to the Bill. My noble friend and I are of course happy to discuss these amendments further with colleagues if there are any concerns. I beg to move Amendment 54.