Clause 52

Local Transport Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 6th May 2008.

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Permits in relation to use of vehicles by educational and other bodies

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

I rise to ask the Minister to clarify the intention of the clause. The Transport Act 1985 enables permits to be granted to educational, religious, social, welfare and other bodies so that they do not need a public service vehicle operator licence. Is it the purpose of the clause to take that to a new level? I understand that the 1985 Act covers all possible vehicles, so does the clause mean that if a vehicle carries fewer than nine passengers no permit will be required, and that therefore an educational body that operates a vehicle with fewer than nine seats will not require a permit as per the 1985 Act?

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (Yorkshire and the Humber), Minister of State (Department for Transport)

Clause 53 will make amendments that are consequential to the provision in clause 52, which extends the scope of section 19 permits to cover vehicles with fewer than nine seats. Such vehicles are not what most of us would consider a bus. That will allow educational and other bodies to provide transport services for their members. Clause 52 will also strengthen the requirements on bodies to keep records to aid better enforcement.

Clause 52 extends the scope of section 19 permits to cover vehicles with fewer than nine seats. As the hon. Gentleman says, the amendment replaces “bus” with  “vehicle” in the relevant legislation. The provision will ensure that those bodies can use vehicles with fewer than nine sets for educational and other transport, but because the vehicle might not be what most of us would recognise as a bus, we have changed its title from “bus” to “vehicle”.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 52 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 53 ordered to stand part of the Bill.