HC Deb 27 July 1960 vol 627 c1719

Lords Amendment: In page 4, line 32, after "sixty" insert: , not being an order authorising the employment of a traffic warden for the purposes of section one of this Act in so far as it relates to a vehicle's obstructing a road,

Mr. Renton

I beg to move, That this House doth agreed with the Lords in the said Amendment.

The effect of this Amendment is that traffic wardens will not be able to enforce the law relating to obstruction by means of the fixed penalty procedure or ticket system until a proposal to empower them to do so has been approved by affirmative Resolution in either House of Parliament.

The Amendment gives statutory effect to undertakings given by my noble Friend in another place and by me in this House, that the first order prescribing the functions of traffic wardens to be made under Clause 2 (3) would not empower the wardens to make use of the procedure for offences of obstruction. This is the fulfilment of an undertaking which was given in response to pressure in both Houses.

Mr. Benn

We are grateful to the hon. and learned Gentleman for this Amendment, which does two very important things. It safeguards the right of the Minister to bring forward a plan to extend the powers of the wardens for which, if the traffic situation in London gets any worse, he will probably soon have to ask. At the same time, it safeguards the rights of the House to review what may be very important advances in the status of traffic wardens beyond the automatic ticket offences to something involving judgment more like that normally exercised by a constable. I do not think that one can say more than that this new procedure of the affirmative Resolution to provide an extension of responsibilities in this way will, in the judgment of myself and some of my hon. Friends, have to be brought into operation before very long.

Question put and agreed to.