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Author Topic: Bus Services Act 2017 - updated topic heading, ongoing discussion  (Read 10414 times)
ZoŽ
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« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2017, 09:06:37 PM »

The Bill was given second reading unopposed on Wednesday.  During the debate government comfirmed it's intentions to reverse some of the amendments made in the Lords:

Automatic access to franchising powers will be restricted to Mayoral combined authorities.  The minister's justification for this was accountability:  A mayor will have a legal duty to demostrate an enhanced service whereas with other authorities this responsibility lies with the government.  Other authorities will therefore have to make a "compeling case" to the Secretary of State in order to be granted franchising powers.  In the winding-up speech Andrew Jones referred to earlier comments by Theresa Villiers that there would be a very real risk to investment by bus operators if all authorities were to be given franchising powers and stated that this was one reason why they government were seeking to reverse the amendment made in the Lords.

Local authorities will be banned from setting up new municipals, the reason given was that the Bill provides substantially more opportunities for local authorities to influence provision of services and so commissioning and provision of services should be kept separate.

The programme motion was approved committing the Bill to a Public Bill Committee with proceedings in committee reaching a conclusion on 21 March.  The money resolution was also passed.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 04:03:06 AM by ZoŽ » Logged
ZoŽ
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« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2017, 03:59:40 PM »

Committee stage starts on Tuesday 14 March.  A Public Bill Committee will go through the Bill clause by clause on this day with further sittings on Thursday 16 and Tuesday 21 March.
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GBM
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« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2017, 07:41:16 AM »

The Bill was given second reading unopposed on Wendsday.  During the debate government comfirmed it's intentions to reverse some of the amendments made in the Lords:

Automatic access to franchising powers will be restricted to Mayoral combined authorities.  The minister's justification for this was accountability:  A mayor will have a legal duty to demostrate an enhanced service whereas with other authorities this responsibility lies with the government.  Other authorities will therefore have to make a "compeling case" to the Secretary of State in order to be granted franchising powers.  In the wind-up speech it was also stated that there would be a very real risk to investment by bus operators if all authorities were to be given franchsing powers.

Local authorities will be banned from setting up new municipals, the reason given was that the Bill provides substantially more opportunities for local authorities to influence provision of services and so commissioning and provision of services should be kept separate.

The programme motion was approved committing the Bill to a Public Bill Committee with proceedings in committee reaching a conclusion on 21 March.  The money resolution was also passed.

Forgive my ignorance on this subject. If a local authority already has a park and ride operation going will they be able to keep it going and even extend it?
Local one run by the Council but First provide the drivers and supervisors.
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grahame
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« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2017, 07:50:12 AM »

Forgive my ignorance on this subject. If a local authority already has a park and ride operation going will they be able to keep it going and even extend it?
Local one run by the Council but First provide the drivers and supervisors.

The bill should not effect things already running - though I did get a hint when I was up at the DfT on 3rd for a briefing on the guidance notes consultation that future changes to BSOG (Bus Service Operators's Grant) may make it advantageous for local authorities to move to AQPS (Advanced Quality Partnership Schemes) or EPS (Enhanced Partnership Schemes).

In the wind-up speech it was also stated that there would be a very real risk to investment by bus operators if all authorities were to be given franchsing powers.

Ah - the truth of why the decision "Mayoral only" has been rammed back into the bill.
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« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2017, 08:02:25 AM »

Thank you





Edit note: Broken quote marks removed, for clarity. CfN.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 08:33:18 PM by Chris from Nailsea » Logged

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ZoŽ
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« Reply #35 on: March 15, 2017, 06:12:50 PM »

Tuesday saw the start of Committee stage and good progress was made though the Bill:

In clause 1:

Government Amendment 1 removed the ability of the Secretary of State to grant traffic enforcement powers to local transport authorities to enforce traffic offences.  This amendment was agreed to unopposed.

Government Amendment 2 removed the requirement that new buses ordered under advanced quality partnership schemes meet requirements of the low emissions bus scheme.  This was agreed unopposed.  Similar government amendments to franchising(6) and enhanced partnerships(11) were later agreed to.

Government Amendments 3 and 4 removed the requirement that representatives of employees of bus companies affected advanced partnerships be consulted about the proposed schemes.  Amendment 3 was agreed to on division after which Amendment 4 was agreed to unpossoed.  Similar amendments to franchising(8 and 9) were later agreed to.

Clause 4:

Government Amendment 5 added a requirement that regulations be made by the Secretary of State before categories other than mayoral authorities can access the franchising powers in this clause.  This amendment was agreed to on division.

Government Amendment 6 (see above) was agreed to on division.

Government Amendment 7 prevents local authorities other than mayoral combined authorities from preparing franchising schemes unless the Secretary of State has consented.  This amendment was agreed to unopposed following the division on amendment 5.

During the debate on the above amendments the minister hinted that regulations required by Amendment 5 would only be made after at least one such authority had applied (these regulations would have to be made by Statutory Instrument before the Secretary of State could start to consider any authorities in that category).  It had previously been said that Cornwall would be granted franchising powers despite not being a mayoral authority but it seems that since they have said they do not intend to use them, then the regulations that would be required won't actually be made at this time.

Amendment 36 was proposed by Graham Stringer and would have specified that any guidance issued by the Secretary of State on the preparation of an assessment for a franchising scheme.  It would have required that such guidance not be over burdensome on the authority, that an authority may decline to asses a potential scheme if bus operators had previously been unwilling or unable to implement such a scheme and that the final decision to go ahead with any scheme rests with the authority.  This amendment was defeated on division.

Government Amendment 10 added reference to the proposed New Clause 1 (also debated at this time) which will ban local authorities from setting up new municipals companies to operate bus services.  During the debate it was argued by the government that passengers will benefit the most of commissioning and provision of services were kept separate.  Lillian Greenwood pointed out that even if a municipal company were to bid for a contract, it doesn't mean that it would win (for example Nottingham City Council owns 82% of Nottingham City Transport) it did not win the contract for the expansion of Nottingham Express Transport.  I see to remember that in the case of rail, although the Railways Act 1993 was amended to allow BR to bid for franchises, OPRAF in the end decided not to allow this due to fears that private companies would be discouraged from bidding.  It the end the amendment was agreed to unopposed but it was made clear that it was going to be revisited at Report stage.

Clauses 1 - 15 were ordered to start part on Tuesday with the Committee resuming tomorrow.

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« Reply #36 on: March 15, 2017, 11:11:49 PM »

The amendments seem to be, with a Bristol eye on them, purely to dilute the benefits first mooted for MetroBust to the lowest common denominator. The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, the unelected unaccountable self-serving oligarchy that specialises in signing other peoples' cheques, can claim that it is the government to blame for them not having to honour the original plan of electric or hybrid or ultra-low emission vehicles paying a toll to operate on the special segregated guided busways.

None of which is happening, as the local councils prepare to subsidise a 3 buses per hour service subsidised by the taxpayer on a £250 million "system" operated by an as yet unknown operator (the obvious suspects seem to think it won't work and never would have) at a premium fare using any old vehicle they care to put out, except for the most modern ultra- low emission double-door double-deck vehicles currently operating on the Long Ashton Park and Ride, which are intended to be be the core route to somewhere not far from Temple Meads before going to the most popular bus stop, Anchor Road, about 7 minutes later than at present. The problem is that they are 80 mm too tall to fit under the Ashton Avenue bridge, recently refurbished at a cost of over £4 million. By coincidence, that is the figure that MetroBust  said would cover all the bridges on the "system", including the skew bridge over Winterstoke Road that was necessary to scoop up brownie points towards the elusive BCR, but which was planned at 2 metres too low  because no-one had asked Network Rail.

Which all makes me think that no-one has thought about buses and rail and / or road as being part of the same planet, let alone local arrangement. Diesel, the new Great Satan, is now allowed because of cost cutting as part of the usual window dressing.
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« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2017, 04:59:08 AM »

Tuesday saw the start of Committee stage and good progress was made though the Bill:


Hugely useful post - Thank You.  Wanted to say that more than just hitting the like button.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2017, 09:49:18 PM »

Yes: many thanks for your prompt and detailed update posts in this topic, ZoŽ.  Smiley

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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
ZoŽ
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« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2017, 02:18:45 PM »

Thursday saw the conclusion of proceedings in Committee:

In Clause 18

Government Amendment 12 allowed regulations to be made under the Transport Act 2000 to require local authorities to provide information about relevant local services which have stopping places in their area.  Government Amendments 13 and 14 require that this includes information about stopping places.  These amendments were agreed to unopposed.

In Clause 19

Government Amendment 15 defined "local transport authority" to have the meaning given in the Transport Act 2000, this was agreed to unopposed.

Clauses 18 - 25 ordered to stand part.

New Clauses

Government New Clause 1 which bans local authorities from setting up new municipals was debated on Tuesday was read a second time on division and added to the bill.

New Clause 2 was moved by Daniel Zeichner and would have required that the Secretary of State publish a national bus strategy for local bus services which would set out the objectives, targets and funding provisions for rural, urban and inter-urban local bus services.  The strategy would have included consideration of a concessionary fare scheme for 16 to 19 year olds.  This new clause was defeated on division.

New Clause 7 was moved by Lillian Greenwood and would have allowed regulations to be made for the purpose of facilitating travel on local services by wheelchair users.  These regulations would have been able to require operators to put in place and enforce a policy for priority wheelchair spaces.  The proposed new clause was defeated on division.

Proceedings concluded with the simple formality of Government Amendment 16 in Clause 26 which removed the Lord's privilege amendment.  This was agreed to unopposed after which Clause 26 was ordered to stand part.

Since proceedings are now complete, there will be no sitting on Tuesday and the Bill will now be reported back to the House where the remaining stages will take place on Monday 27 March.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 06:42:35 PM by ZoŽ » Logged
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2017, 08:14:56 PM »

New Clause 7 was moved by Lillian Greenwood and would have allowed regulations to be made for the purpose of facilitating travel on local services by wheelchair users.  These regulations would have been able to require operators to put in place and enforce a policy for priority wheelchair spaces.  The proposed new clause was defeated on division.

Interesting ...  Lips sealed

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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
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« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2017, 10:28:01 PM »

I too have enjoyed reading the detail of this debate thanks to Zoe.  One small pedantic point:

In the wind-up speech it was also stated ...

A winding-up speech usually concludes a debate.  A wind up speech is usually delivered by the opposition when feeling mischievous.  I did have a smile when I read it.

You make a better journalist than some journalists, Zoe. (Or perhaps you are one?)
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ZoŽ
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« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2017, 10:56:59 PM »

A winding-up speech usually concludes a debate.  A wind up speech is usually delivered by the opposition when feeling mischievous.  I did have a smile when I read it.
Yes, I was referring to the speech used to wind-up the debate and it was simply a case of not noticing what the wording I used would imply before I posted.  Looking back through Hansard though I see the term has been used by MPs and even the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons First Report (https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmmodern/337/33708.htm)  says:

Quote
The Official Opposition and second largest opposition party spokesmen should be able to choose whether to make an opening or a wind-up speech
I hope they are not suggesting that the two largest opposition parties should be able to choose whether to make either an opening speech or one that winds up the government.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 03:51:23 AM by ZoŽ » Logged
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2017, 11:41:22 PM »

Hmm. Roll Eyes

I rather suspect that the Opposition 'May' want to wind up the Government in any such debate - but my renewed thanks to member ZoŽ for reporting here in such detail.  Wink
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
ZoŽ
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« Reply #44 on: March 27, 2017, 10:27:12 PM »

Today saw the completion of the reaming stages of the Bill in the Commons.

At Report stage the amendments were placed into three groups the first of which dealt with the National Strategy and Concessionary Schemes.  Two Amendments were forced to a vote:

New Clause 1 was moved by would have required that the Secretary of State publish a national strategy for local bus services setting out objectives, targets and funding of local bus services in the 10 years following Royal Assent of the Bill.  The strategy would have been required to include consideration of a reduced concessionary fares scheme for 16 to 19 year olds. 

New Clause 2 was moved by John Pugh and would have required that the Secretary of State lay a report before parliament detailing possible steps to provide support local authorities in providing conscesisonary bus travel for 16 to 18 year olds in apprenticeships.

Both of these New Clauses were defeated on division.

Proceeding then moved on to the next group which covered franchising and partnership schemes.  No amendments were forced to a vote here  but there were some government amendments relating to the appointment of auditors by for franchising schemes by local authorities.

Report stage concluded with Amendment 1 moved by Daniel Zeichner and would have removed the controversial Clause 22 which bans local authorities from setting up new municipals.  This clause was in the original bill as Clause 1 but was removed at Report Stage in the Lords before getting added back in at Committee stage in the Commons.  The Amendment was forced to a vote but was defeated and so the clause remains part of the Bill.

The House was then briefly suspended to allow Speaker John Bercow to consider the certification of clauses relating to England or England and Wales only.  The House then resolved itself into Legislative Grand Committee with Lindsay Hoyle in the Chair and a consent motion for those clauses was agreed to unopposed.

Proceedings then concluded with Third Reading which after a short debate was agreed to unopposed.

The Bill now returns to the Lords for consideration of the amendments.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 03:42:38 AM by ZoŽ » Logged
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