Clause 33 - Employer-subsidised public transport business services

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 16th May 2002.

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Photo of Michael Jack Michael Jack Conservative, Fylde 4:15 pm, 16th May 2002

I want to follow the contributions that have been made and put an anomaly to the Minister. A worker at BAE Systems in my constituency, who lived in Fleetwood, could take the Blackpool tramway to its terminus on the Fylde border and then transfer to a stopping bus. The odd situation would arise that the journey from Fleetwood to the edge of St. Anne's would not benefit from the provisions of clause 33, whereas the journey from St. Anne's to Warton, where he might go to work, would.

The Government are reviewing several applications for public funding for the development of tramway systems or tramway and integrated light rail systems. If the measure's objective is to encourage the use of public transport—I notice that its emphasis is on local stopping services—it seems odd that travellers on local stopping tram services, which in many cases in Blackpool run on parallel routes to buses, get no help while bus travellers do. It would be interesting to hear from the Financial Secretary the reason for that apparent inconsistency and whether it is the intention of the policy.