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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 24th October 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 6:00 pm, 24th October 2016

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for his explanation, and I should say at the outset that we support the government amendments on this issue.

Amendment 104 in this group builds on our earlier debates on the need for buses to play their part in making towns and cities more healthy places in which to live and to work. On the first day of the Report stage, your Lordships passed an amendment requiring bus operators to deliver higher environmental standards and to meet the requirements for low-emission buses. I am grateful for the support of noble Lords around the Chamber on the issue. Our amendment is a consequence of that decision. We believe that we need to ensure that local transport authorities, bus users and communities have up-to-date information about bus emissions so that they can hold bus operators to account.

When we discussed a similar amendment tabled in Committee, the Minister expressed some sympathy with it but raised concerns about the extra burdens on bus operators. We do not accept that that is the overriding factor in these deliberations. At the moment, some transport authorities collect this information, while others do not. The fact is that we need to have a national picture of our CO2 emissions in this area of transport policy so that we can make proper national policy decisions. As I mentioned during the earlier Report stage debate, this is in part necessary so that we can measure our response to the Paris agreement on climate change alleviation.

However, I have listened to the comments of the noble Lord and I understand that the Government have gone some way to address the issue in their amendments and in other areas of the Bill, so at this stage I will not press Amendment 104 to a vote.

Amendment 102 agreed.