Clause 81

Local Transport Bill [ Lords ] – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:10 pm on 8 May 2008.

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Conferral of a power to direct

Question proposed [this day], That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Question again proposed.

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

I listened carefully to the arguments made this morning by the hon. Member for Wimbledon, and it might help if I address clauses 80 and 81. Clause 80 allows for the delegation of a local authority’s highway or traffic functions to an integrated transport authority to help it to fulfil its strategic responsibility for developing transport policies and planning transport across the ITA area.

Clause 81 offers a lighter-touch approach. It enables an ITA to influence how an area’s local road network is managed without the need formally to delegate functions. Any order giving an ITA the power to give directions would need to specify the roads in the ITA’s area to which the power would apply. It could apply just to roads that carry major bus routes, or the order could list a limited network of the most strategically important local roads in the area. That decision would be made at the point at which an order was made, and the order would have to designate the roads in question. I hope that that helps to clarify the position of what we are trying to achieve.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Shadow Minister (Transport)

I was aware of the position beforehand, but I was seeking reassurance from the Minister that subsections (8) to (11) would give the local authority the ability to send a proposed scheme back to the ITA if it did not take account of local circumstances. Is she saying that those subsections allow that local discretion?

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

When making the order, the local authority would be able to say that it was prepared for the ITA to make directions over particular roads, but it would be at that point and not at a later stage. The idea is to decide which roads might fall under the scheme at the beginning of the process. We will be issuing guidance on the direction-making powers later in the year. That will obviously be open to consultation, and some of the points that the hon. Gentleman makes now could be made then.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 81 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 82 and 83 ordered to stand part of the Bill.