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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 24th October 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green 7:00 pm, 24th October 2016

I am grateful to the Minister for his reply and his promise not to try to direct or instruct me. That could prove difficult in any case, but I am always interested to see how people try.

I thank the noble Lords, Lord Berkeley and Lord Kennedy, for supporting the amendment. It is very logical, when this system is already in place in London and is working so well there. I congratulate the noble Earl, Lord Attlee, on his comments on near misses. Of course there is no such thing as a near miss; what it is is a near hit. Quite honestly, we are very lucky that those near hits are not real hits; many of them are a matter of pure chance. If he had talked to the campaigner Tom Kearney, who has talked to me about the impact his being in a coma for two months had on his family and how much worse it would have been if he had died—as so many people have already died—he might feel a bit differently about it.

I would be happy to supply any more information to the Minister that he felt he needed. Personally, I feel that a lot of the bus companies in London that are using the system could use it outside London but choose not to. That is a bit of an indicator that this has to be in legislation and compulsory. If we are trying to understand companies’ safety records then we have to have the data, and what is lacking in the Bill is an instruction for companies to submit safety data.

For me, this issue is about whistleblowing. It is noble and honourable for employees to alert their companies secretly to the problems that they see. It is difficult for them to do so openly but much easier when they have confidentiality. This would be a natural extension of what happened in London so, very sadly, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 112 withdrawn.