New Clause 6

Local Transport Bill [ Lords ] – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 8 May 2008.

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Cancellation of services where quality contracts scheme proposed

‘(1) The Public Service Vehicles (Registration of Local Services) Regulations 1986 (S.I. 1986/671) are amended as follows.

(2) After Regulation 5(2)(a) insert—

“(aa) subject to paragraph (3), in the case of any service which is provided within an area in respect of which an authority or authorities have given notice to the traffic commissioner, pursuant to section 130(7) of the Transport Act 2000, that a quality contract covering the area within which the service (or part thereof) is provided has been entered into, on the date that the quality contract scheme to which the quality contract relates is to come into operation in accordance with section 127(2)(b) of that Act, and”.

(3) After Regulation 5(2) insert—

“(3) Paragraph (2)(aa) shall not apply where the authority, or (where there is more than one authority) any one of them, gives written notice to the traffic commissioner that in respect of any particular service or services it need not apply, or where the number of days between the date of the notice of entry into the quality contract and the date that the related quality contract scheme is to come into operation exceeds 183.”.’.—[Graham Stringer.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Photo of Graham Stringer Graham Stringer Labour, Manchester, Blackley

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

I shall not tax the Committee. We have previously debated the instability of the bus network caused during the process of preparing a quality contract. The objective of new clause 6 is to address that by preventing the deregistration of services during that period. In effect, it stops bus operators walking away from their commitments to the travelling public.

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

Although I sympathise with the aims of the new clause, we do not need a provision in primary legislation. We can best address the matter through amending, or new regulations. We will be consulting later in the year on the secondary legislation that will support the provisions on quality contracts schemes.

The Transport Act 2000 includes a power to make regulations on the transitional period between the making of a scheme and its coming into force. That will be extended further by the Bill, which will allow us to make more flexible provision for letting emergency or short-term contracts if commercial services cease to be provided. With that reassurance, I hope that my hon. Friend will withdraw his new clause.

Photo of Graham Stringer Graham Stringer Labour, Manchester, Blackley 4:45, 8 May 2008

I am reassured and I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.

Motion and clause, by leave, withdrawn.