HC Deb 31 July 1978 vol 955 cc64-95

Lords amendment: No. 10, in page 10, line 1, leave out clause 9.

Mr. William Rodgers

I beg to move, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine)

With this we may also discuss the Government amendment to Lords amendment no. 10, in page 10, line 34, at end insert—

"(3A) Any such Order shall also require councils—

  1. (a) to consult organisations representative of the disabled before deciding to propose tie designation of a controlled area under the Order; and
  2. (b) if representations are received from such organisations about the proposal, to send to the Secretary of State (together with copies of representations received from other organisations consulted) a statement of how parking requirements of the disabled arising from implementation of the proposal are met by existing facilities or, if in the opinion of the council they are not already so met, how it is intended to meet them.".—

and Lords amendment no. 23, in page 17, line 29, leave out from beginning to ("and") in line 32.

Mr. Rodgers

I do not intend to rehearse the familiar arguments about parking control. We have been over them many times and I do not believe that this is an appropriate time to run a well-worn course. There were many clear differences of opinion in another place. The Government held one view about the proposals then included in the Bill and a majority of noble Lords held another.

I have to say—and I say it with reluctance and no disrespect to the other House—that I have found no new, inspiring or persuasive ideas in what was said in the debate in the other place. There was no distilled wisdom, no profound insight, no fresh interpretation and no exciting vision. In other words, having read the remarks of the noble Lords, I was neither wiser nor better informed than I had been after listening to the debates in this place.

I confess, although this may be an inadequate reason of itself to be moving disagreement with the Lords, that I would prefer not to capitulate to the rather routine arguments of Lord O'Hagan when I had resisted the blandishments of the hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Fowler). I always do my best to be generous towards him, even amenable. I have a great regard for him, as I must have after the long time we have spent together in the House of Commons. It always hurts me to hurt him in any matter. If I was obliged to hurt the hon. Gentleman, as I am afraid I did when I opposed his proposals on this matter, how far short I would fall of the high standards of this place and the affections it generates if I were now to say that, where the hon. Gentleman failed, Lord O'Hagan should succeed? It is for that reason, if no other, that I must ask the House to accept my advice.

These are old and familiar arguments. We have been discussing the question of parking and its appropriate place in traffic management for over 20 years. I remember, when I was a young, inarticulate and shy member of the Marylebone council, joining in supporting the large and formidable majority in favour of introducing parking meters into the streets of Marylebone. I did so because Mr. Harold Watkinson, now Lord Watkinson, who was then Minister of Transport, indicated—he was the first Minister of Transport to do so—the need for new restrictions on on-street parking. I think that he first advocated on-street parking and meters over 22 years ago.

Then Mr. Ernest Marples made clear, as Minister of Transport, that he was a supporter of the strict control of parking. I should like to take this opportunity, the first in a transport debate since his death, to pay tribute to the important and valuable, work done by Lord Marples at a time when we were coming to terms with the motor car for the first time. I make it clear that that was street parking as an important part of traffic management.

Mr. Adley

Is not the simple point that street parking is on ground in public ownership whereas off-street parking is not? Is not that the crux of the argument?

Mr. Rodgers

Indeed, it is not, unless we are concerned only with the question of the invasion of property rights. Although that is a question that we may want to discuss from time to time, we are not considering it now. We are discussing the proper management of parking to ensure better traffic management, and better traffic management sometimes involves less road building, which itself encroaches on private property. So we want to look at this matter in traffic management terms.

I mentioned Lord Watkinson and Lord Marples for one purpose. In the other place, it was argued that to move in this direction was only the thin edge of the wedge. If there is a wedge and it has a thin end, that wedge and the thin end were evident 22 years ago, when the idea of restricting parking, whether on or off the streets, was accepted as a necessary part of traffic management. So I do not think that there should be so little confidence in the power of this House, or, for that matter, the power of another, to decide when to call it a day and not to proceed with very important measures.

I do not want to rehearse the arguments again. I will say only that, in the first place, one cannot have effective management of traffic in towns unless one has management of parking as well, and that, secondly, it is desirable—and I have not changed my view of this—that there should be a large measure of local option in this matter.

Looking back at the Second Report of the Select Committee on Expenditure for the 1972–73 Session, I was struck by the evidence given by the right hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Walker), who was then Secretary of State for the Environment. His evidence is recorded in the minutes of evidence in Volume 2. It was given on 22nd June in that Session. The right hon. Gentleman was asked whether he thought local authorities should be permitted to control private off-street car parking, and he replied: They already have it in London, and I think that elsewhere they would need to have that power. That was the right hon. Gentleman's view when he carried responsibility for car parking under the last Conservative Government.

I am sorry to have had to bring that evidence to the attention of the hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield, because I am afraid that he is somewhat embarrassed by the revelation, but that was the position six years ago, and apart from remarks made by the hon. Gentleman in our debates on this Bill there has been no suggestion that a Conservative Government, were one ever to be elected, would not feel it necessary to move in this direction. I have much greater faith in local democracy, both in the common sense of local authorities and in the power of the electorate to turn them out if they do not behave in a sensible manner. I have much too much faith in them to believe that it is wrong to give them the opportunity to decide what is best for their own localities.

5.15 p.m.

Mr. John Ellis

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his reference to the common sense of local authorities, and I agree with him. The only point at issue between us is that this is restricted to county councils. Why do we not bring in councils at borough level to a much greater extent?

Mr. Rodgers

My hon. Friend made that important point, with which I have great sympathy, in previous stages of our discussion of this Bill. The simple answer is that the Bill would not be the appropriate place for us to change the present division of powers between the two tiers of local government. As my hon. Friend knows, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has been considering what might best be done. He has been in some discussion with me and other ministerial colleagues on the matter, but, as long as the distribution of powers remains as it is, it is appropriate in this Bill—it is the only quick way of doing it—to give this power to the counties. But I take my hon. Friend's point, and I think that there is much validity in it.

I wish for these reasons to restore the clause as it was previously drafted, except that I am proposing an important amendment to it. As I have said, I found it difficult to see any new ideas in the debate in the House of Lords, but in Committee there concern was expressed that car park licensing might affect the mobility of the disabled, who are depen- dent on the use of cars to get them into town centres. I recognise that the disablcd, both drivers and passengers, are particularly vulnerable to traffic restraint measures, and I am anxious that when authorities use their licensing powers they give proper consideration to the special needs of the disabled.

Accordingly, the clause as reintroduced contains a new subsection which requires an authority, when initiating a licensing scheme, to consult organisations representing the disabled, and if such organisations object to the scheme the authority must, in forwarding its objections to me, inform me what it already has done in order to meet the needs of the disabled or what it proposes to do. I shall then have an opportunity to consider whether the provisions are adequate, and if they do not appear to be so there are opportunities for me to intervene and require the draft regulations to be amended. That is one respect in which I hope the House will feel that I am making a concession, and one of a kind that is wholly appropriate. I have no sense that I am doing it under duress.

Perhaps I may try further to mollify some of the anxieties. In deciding to reintroduce the clause, I have carefully considered the argument put forward in both Houses and by the interests involved that a public inquiry should be mandatory at the draft regulation stage. I have concluded that there is no case for such a radical departure from traffic regulation practice—that will not be news to the House. Moreover, my discretion as to whether to hold a public inquiry is an inherent feature of a scheme already extensively debated and sanctioned by Parliament.

However, my Department will issue guidance which will make it clear that the power should be used only to relieve the most congested urban centres where local authorities are already using their existing powers to control parking to the full. In other words, this power will not be perversely exercised. I do not believe that it would be, but this is a safeguard which I think that the House will welcome, and I give my undertaking in that respect. If any authority proposed to use the powers in other circumstances, I would consider very carefully whether there was a need for me to intervene.

Mr. Costain

Has the Secretary of State taken into account the fact that before planning permission was given to erect the building, the local authority insisted on a car park being incorporated in part of the building? Would that be considered to be conclusive evidence not to restrict what the owner had put in at the request of the local authority?

Mr. Rodgers

With respect to the hon. Gentleman, I think that he is referring to proposals, which are not included in the Bill. for the restriction of non-residential car parking. I think that that is what he has in mind. That would not be appropriate to this legislation. But if there are privately operated public car parks in buildings which have been constructed. the sort of consideration that he has in mind would be brought to bear. But we are not considering any question other than regulations, and there is no question of taking away planning permission that has already been given. I hope that on reflection the hon. Gentleman will feel that the proposals I am making today are worthy of his support because they do not encroach on that ground.

I think that the House as a whole, having debated the Bill and knowing that we shall amend it in relation to the disabled and having given the reassurances that I have put on the record, will be prepared to agree with the Government and disagree with the Lords amendment in this respect.

Mr. Norman Fowler

Touched as I am by the Secretary of State's tribute. I should tell him that if his only reason for rejecting the Lords amendment is the fear of offending me he should not allow that to stand in his way. That was about the best argument that he made.

We welcome the concession for the disabled. This is an argument that we have put forward consistently since the clause was first introduced. I pay tribute particularly to Peter Large for the work that he has done on this matter. The concession has been very much at the eleventh hour, but nevertheless it is welcome. However. it does not meet our case in opposing this clause. We still believe that the clause should go in its entirety, and we shall vote on that.

The only thing that can be said about the Secretary of State's argument is that each time he uses it. we on this side of the House gain more support. The House of Lords is a case in point. Baroness Stedman dutifully repeated his arguments in the other place and the clause was promptly thrown out. The Secretary of State may say that he is not very surprised about that, but I think that he should study the voting lists in the House of Lords.

The clause was defeated, not just by the Conservative peers but with the support of the Liberal peers. The significance of that was not only that the Liberals in the Commons voted in favour of the clause, but that the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Penhaligon) apparently went through the Bill line by line with the Government when it was presented. It is true that we had to explain to him what one or two of the measures actually meant, but the Bill had the official seal of approval of the Liberal Party. In spite of this, the Liberals in the Lords voted against it.

There were some very Prominent names among those Liberals. There were Lord Wade, former deputy leader of the Liberal Party; Lord Mackie of Benshie, former chairman of the Scottish Liberal Party; and Lord Beaumont of Whitley, former chairman and president of the Liberal Party and many more besides. So we shall wait with interest to see what the Liberals do when we divide on this matter later this evening. I suspect that they will either abstain or retain their first position. thus enabling them to go to the country with their slogan of "Vote Liberal and we shall give you the biggest permutation of contradictory votes known to man".

Mr. Stephen Ross (Isle of Wight)

When will the hon. Member tell us that he will bring forward a sensible transport policy for dealing with traffic in the inner urban areas? When he does that we shall listen to him with great interest.

Mr. Fowler

I am most interested in what the hon. Member has said. I shall refer him to the transport policy that we have. produced which is rather more than the Liberals have produced. When he has studied our policy, I am sure that he will give us his support.

Why does the Secretary of State get so uptight about this clause? The Secretary of State has not been conspicuously successful in getting his decisions past his Cabinet colleagues. His support for any cause is normally the kiss of death for that cause—Blennerhassett, seat belts, excess fares. On all these he has been overruled. But if it kills him, he will get this clause on to the statute book.

What then is his case essentially? It is that he is doing nothing wrong. He is simply giving the local authorities a permissive power to control private car parks. His argument is that, because it is permissive, nobody should worry.

That is an extraordinary assumption. The first question to be answered is whether the powers are necessary. This House does not and should not give permissive powers unless it is convinced that those powers should be given. If the powers are unnecessary then there is no case—whether they are permissive or not is irrelevant. To judge whether they are necessary, we look at experience with them.

That means looking at the situation in London. London is the only city which is, in the Secretary of State's words, "free to enjoy them". At present the GLC has powers to control the hours of opening, scale of charges and the length of stay of a motorist in a private car park. The case is that those powers have been so successfully exercised that every local authority should have them.

To some it might seem a slight flaw in the Secretary of State's argument that the GLC, in fact, does not exercise the powers and has given them up deliberately. It is prepared to see the powers scrapped altogether. The reason that the Conservative-controlled GLC has scrapped these controls is that when Mr. Daly and the Labour-controlled GLC exercised them there was a public outcry. The public protested at the indiscriminate nature of the controls and there was no evidence that they had any good effect, least of all in forcing people on to public transport which was their presumed aim.

Therefore, London hardly provides much support for the Secretary of State. The only comparative scheme was in Nottingham in 1975–76. Very elaborate controls were set up to prevent motorists entering the city and the result was extensively reported in three reports by the Government's own Transport and Road Research Laboratory. The laboratory reported: the scheme largely failed to achieve its two main objectives…reduced bus journey times between residential zones and the City Centre by less than one minute…no significant changes were observed in the means of travel. In other words, it was a failure, and what is more it was a failure which cost the ratepayers £280,000.

Above all, the fact is that these two schemes were both rejected by the public —the consumer or the transport user. In London, the chief author of the Labour scheme was Mr. Jim Daly and in Nottingham the chief author was Mr. Frank Higgins. Both schemes were rejected by the local transport users, yet what have the Government done? They have appointed both men to the Central Transport Consultative Committee to represent transport users nationally. That is the reward that they have been given. Mr. Higgins is the paid chairman and last month Mr. Daly was appointed to the committee—happily in an unpaid capacity.

It is stupid party political-appointments of that kind which give quangos a bad name in this country. There is no evidence to support the extension of powers. All the evidence points the other way. There is even a financial price to be paid by the taxpayer and the ratepayer. Clearly, if hours of opening are limited in the privately operated car parks, these car parks will sustain loss and compensation will be paid out of public funds. The Government accept that this is so.

That brings me to the hon. Member for Brigg and Scunthorpe (Mr. Ellis). His case on Report was that there was something deeply sinister about the attitude that the Conservative Party was taking. He said then: I remember seeing somewhere that National Car Parks is a considerable contributor to Conservative funds. I am open to correction about that, but if that is the case, we begin to understand where the Opposition's interests lie."—[Official Report, 17th May, 1978; Vol. 950, c. 497.] It is as well that we do not look to the hon. Member for reliable information in this House. The fact is that National Car Parks does not contribute to Conservative Party funds and does not make any contribution to any political party. Such information was available to the hon. Member simply by lifting a telephone. But he chose not to check and I am sure that he is about to withdraw his comments.

Mr. John Ellis

It is not a question of withdrawing my comments. I asked a question. The hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Fowler) has just made my case. Had he had the knowledge, he could have said on Report that my comments were not true. The significant thing is that my comments fit in with the analysis, and he thought that they were true. In the private sector the money-making consideration overrides any thought of sensible planning in our cities and towns.

Mr. Fowler

The hon. Member's response is altogether typical of him. He has been proved wrong but he has not the courage to admit that he was incorrect. He is simply prepared to smear and not to withdraw that smear. We choose to give him our award of "investigative booby of the year."

The last Labour manifesto contained the pledge to make the nation less dependent upon the private car. That remains the policy of the Labour Party today. This was set out in the statement of the party's national executive committee last month. To achieve this, the party wants stringent traffic management schemes. It welcomes the plan to license privately operated car parks, but sees it as only a first stage. The next stage will be to control private non-residential parking.

Powers will then be taken to control office car parks, and virtually everybody parking in an office car park will need a permit to be bought at local authority offices. A new body of inspectors will then be formed to check that permits are being displayed. That is the brave new world which the national executive of the Labour Party has in mind.

5.30 p.m.

It might be thought that at least the Secretary of State for Transport would not support such a scheme. Nobody pretends that the right hon. Gentleman is the darling of the Labour Party executive. But not a bit of it. He, too, wants this scheme. Basically, the right hon. Gentleman is saying that this measure is stage 1 of his parking controls, and that stage 2 will mean controls on office car parks.

That brings me to a central conflict in the Secretary of State's case. He claims the support of bodies of all kinds. I pointed out in May that not all his support stands up to scrutiny. In Standing Committee, the Under-Secretary of State for Transport claimed the support of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities. A check with Miss Shelagh Roberts, the transport and planning chairman of the AMA, proved this to be totally untrue—in other words, that statement was totally without foundation.

The Government have not sought to deny the opposition to this proposal expressed by the motoring organisations, such as the RAC and AA. Nobody pretends that mass rallies are taking place throughout the country in favour of these controls. The humbug of the Government's case lies in the suggestion that they care a jot what the public think. Their proposals for private non-residential parking have been condemned—the local authorities do not want them, nor do the police or the public. However, has this affected the Government's attitude? The answer is in the negative. The Government want to push these proposals through. This will not happen before an election, but if Labour wins that is precisely what they will do, whether or not public opinion is with them.

Happily, that election will prevent the Labour Party from putting into effect stage 2. Today the House has an oppotunity to defeat stage 1, and I urge it to take it. The case has not been made out and the powers should not be given.

Mr. Donald Anderson (Swansea, East)

The hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Fowler) tried to raise the bogy that this was one stage towards controlling private non-residential parking. He suggested that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport wanted to go all the way but, for various reasons, was unable to go that far. The subject of private non-residential parking is a wholly different matter. It will rest on its own merits if and when it is raised in this House. Public non-residential parking can be discussed on its own merits today.

The hon. Gentleman said that there was no mass rally in favour of the Government's proposal. I am certain from my contacts that there is no mass rally against the proposal.

In other words, this proposal is not causing immense interest outside the House.

The hon. Gentleman also suggested that my right hon. Friend did not care a jot what the public were or were not saying about this matter. The essence of what my right hon. Friend is doing is to give authority to locally elected councillors—in other words, to the democratically elected people on the spot—to exercise the power if they so wish. What can be more responsive to public opinion than that? That is the spirit in which my right hon. Friend is approaching the matter.

I am puzzled by the fact that the hon. Gentleman is prepared to deny to local authorities the possibility of regulating public off-street parking. It is an astonishing proposition that whatever may be the local circumstances, whatever the people on the spot think, the hon. Gentleman knows best—and certainly the suggestion that Whitehall or whatever body the hon. Gentleman claims to speak on behalf of—the RAC, the AA or Miss Shelagh Roberts—know what is best for every county authority throughout the country. with local councillors being denied the opportunity to exercise any powers in this respect.

The hon. Gentleman's view is that the evidence points the other way. He believes that there is no local pressure for this move, and cited the Greater London Council. We all know that there has been an unfortunate change of control in that council. However, the situation will be put right in the not too distant future.

The hon. Gentleman's opposition to these proposals is dogmatic and nondemocratic. In my view, the control which is now possible for local councilors can be an essential tool in local traffic management schemes in respect of essential planning at local level. I fully support my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport.

Mr. Adley

It was nerhaps a Freudian coincidence that the hon. Member for Swansea, East (Mr. Anderson) was called to speak after my hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Fowler). who referred to the possibility of having to apply to one's local authority for a parking permit in the event of another Labour Government. I was restrained from intervening in my hon. Friend's speech, but I am constrained to add that it might be only a matter of time before the matter were dealt with, not by the local authority, but by that red dragon of a Welsh computer in Swansea.

Mr. Anderson

What possible relevance have vehicle excise duty and driving licences, the two areas of responsibility in Swansea, to the matter under discussion?

Mr. Adley

I suppose the answer [...]o that question is, none, except in Socialist logic. As the computer exists, the Government will have to find work for it to do. We must have in mind the views of our constituents and what concerns them about traffic problems. I am sure that Members receive more letters about the Swansea computer than about car parking problems.

This is a comparatively simple matter of political attitudes. When the Secretary of State for Transport ponders the question why the Conservative Party is yet again pursuing this subject, I believe that I can answer the question for him. It has to do with attitudes towards legislation. The Labour Party's attitude to legislation is "When in doubt, do it": the Conservative Party's attitude is "When in doubt, don't". As we have seen from the GLC example, it is a waste of everybady's time for Parliament to legislate to give power to local authorities, for local authorities to find those powers unusable, and ultimately for those powers to be repealed.

Politeness prevents my trying to deduce the Liberal Party's attitude towards legislation. bearing in mind what was said a little earlier about the actions of Liberal peers in another place. Perhaps the Liberal attitude could he best summarised as "When in doubt, let us see whether there are votes in it and let us do whatever we think is likely to be the most popular". That is no way to run a transport policy or anything else.

The suggestion that this proposal would be a first step towards the acquisition of powers by local authorities to take over private property for purposes of traffic management is a real threat. People would do well to be aware of that danger.

The Secretary of State for Transport, in answering a question by his hon. Friend the Member for Brigg and Scunthorpe (Mr. Ellis), said that these powers would not be devolved downwards to district councils. I know that the Chair would rule me out of order if I were to refer to the recent speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Pym) on the subject of English devolution. but I believe that there is every justification for the view that the kind of powers envisaged in the clause are more sensibly held in the hands of district councils than of county councils. The New Forest district council, in my constituency, is perhaps some way ahead of the thinking of many other local authorities on this matter. Two years ago, it passed a resolution that called, effectively, for English devolution. It proposed the devolution from this place of powers to elected regional councils, in effect the abolition of county councils and devolution down to district councils of many matters among which, I am sure, traffic management and off-street parking would be included.

The Secretary of State referred to the power of local people to turn out a local authority that introduces unpopular schemes of traffic management. The bus lanes in Southampton were not very popular and the swing against the Labour Party in the last local elections in Southampton was, by general consent, so large as to require an explanation and the traffic management schemes introduced by the former Labour council were not irrelevant.

If the House is seriously interested in looking at the overall question of traffic management, doing it in this piecemeal fashion is unsatisfactory. Many of my constituents feel that traffic management schemes and parking arrangements should be organised so that facilities are made available for local people rather than for people coming in from outside, though that may be easier to say than to administer.

The Lymington harbour commissioners have managed to reserve moorings in the Lymington river for people who live within six miles of Lymington. Many of my constituents would like to see places in the public car parks run by the district councils reserved for people living in or near the areas concerned, but such powers are not inherent in the Bill.

Finally, dare I mention the subject of caravans about which the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) and I have had discussions with the Under-Secretary of State for the Environment? Problems are caused by these vehicles and certain popular areas have particular problems. In some of the scenic tourist areas of this country, there may be a case for restricting the entry of certain vehicles into certain places at certain times unless booked and reserved accommodation is available.

All this is very much wider than anything proposed in the Bill. I suspect the motives of the Government in seeking to reinsert this clause in the Bill, and I have no hesitation in supporting my hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield.

Mr. John Ellis

The hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Fowler) does worse when he writes his speeches than when he speaks off the cuff. He sought to attribute to me malice and various ill motives, but he should have read all of what I said in the speech about which he complained. I said: I say merely that I should not be surprised to see that National Car Parks contributes to Conservative Party funds."—[Official Report. 17th May 1978; Vol. 950, c. 497.] Is it ill mannered of me to say that?

Why do I come to that conclusion? The hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield said a lot of harsh things about the Liberal Members and the Secretary of State and what he is seeking to do in this clause. The hon. Gentleman said that there could be no argument about this matter. Plainly there is an argument or we would not be having one. He resolutely refuses to see that there can be any case for regulations to help with the management of the problem in our towns and cities.

5.45 p.m.

My only criticism of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is that he is going to the wrong level. The people who own the car parks and best know the needs of an area are the district councils at the lower tier of management. My right hon. Friend said in reply to my intervention that the Government had sought to deal with the matter from a philosophical point of view in other legislation concerning these matters and had decided that the powers should be given to the county councils.

On Humberside we have a huge, semi-regional area, split by the Humber estuary. It may be that county councillors considering these matters may not have visited places such as Hull, Beverley, Brigg or Scunthorpe for a considerable time. I could not say when I was last in Beverley and county councillors on the south bank of the Humber have a considerable journey to get to some other parts of the region. We would do better to allow the local authority at, say, Beverley to decide what to do with its car parks rather than hand over the decision to county councillors. In the same way, I do not suppose that those in Beverley or Bridlington will know the needs of Scunthorpe particularly well.

The hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield waxed passionately on the main argument of whether there is a need for this provision. There is a philosophical divide between us. The Opposition say that nothing should stand in the way of the entrepreneur and that if he provides the car park he should decide what hours it should be open and so on because he has come into the free market economy and decided a rate for the job that the market will bear.

I understand that argument, but there is a converse argument. I refer again to what the hon. Member for Sutton Cold-field said about there being no argument in this matter. Of course there is an argument. For example, we have free car parking in Scunthorpe. No entrepreneur comes into Scunthorpe to provide car parks because all the parks in the town are free. I am not saying that that is necessarily the right approach. At present we have sufficient space, but the commercial functions of the town ate to be extended and perhaps there will be a shortage of space at some time. A more sensible approach at that time might be to say that we want people to come in to use the shops and offices and to use the car parks on a short-term rather than a long-term basis.

The hon. Member for Christchurch and Lymington (Mr. Adley) gave the game away when he said that in seaside towns, where there are shortages of parking places, people might start parking caravans in areas where they are not wanted. The hon. Gentleman seems to support the case that is being made by my right hon. and hon. Friends.

I was at Bristol for some time and there was a large departmental store that besides encompassing departments dealing with shoes, handbags, linen and other goods had two or three floors devoted to car parking. At the end of the financial year the store found that the car park had made the greatest profit.

Let us pursue the argument. Let us act on the basis of the free market economy. Let us do away with the haberdashery department, the shoe department and everything else and turn the building into a complete car park. If we did that, we should make more profit. What would happen? The reason for people going into the centre of Bristol would diminish until the centre was devoted entirely to car parking and there would be no reason for people to go to the centre.

I am arguing in stark terms that when we consider traffic management in any area there is a variety of circumstances to bear in mind. It may be that there is a wish to attract the long-term parker. It may be that the short-term parker is wanted, bearing in mind the services that have been provided in the area.

The hon. Member for Christchurch and Lymington observed that there may be parking provisions in seaside towns and that motorists may want to park in the centre of the shopping district, or they may want to bring in their caravans as well when there is provision elsewhere.

Mr. Adley

The hon. Gentleman has twice suggested that I said something that in fact I never said. I was not talking about bringing caravans into seaside areas but general traffic management. I merely mentioned caravans en passant not necessarily in seaside areas but in areas of outstanding natural beauty where there are no powers for local authorities or the Forestry Commission, for example, to control their entry in certain areas at certain times of the year. If we are to have a thorough review of traffic management, there are far more important problems to discuss than the particular one that the hon. Gentleman has in mind.

Mr. Ellis

I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman's correction. He is concerned about areas of outstanding natural beauty. I do not think that he detracts from my argument. I misunderstood him, but I can understand his concern. I know that in many seaside towns there are many caravans. I shall give the hon. Gentleman his argument if he gives me mine. It may be the policy of the local council not to have caravans in certain areas. That is an additional reason that adds to the argument. It seems that the hon. Gentleman did not include it and that I misunderstood him. However, he argued on the basis of scenic beauty and he reinforces my argument.

The Opposition have it entirely wrong. Mention has been made of the late Ernest Marples. It is true that ever since the war Ministers of Transport, whether Conservative or Labour, have been involved in controversy. We all remember the slogan "Marples must go". There was a similar campaign involving my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) when she was transport Minister.

The attitude of many when they returned from the war was that they had been fighting for the freedom to live their lives as they thought fit. They demanded a better standard of living so that they could own a car. They considered that part of the freedom for which they had been fighting was the right to take their car into city centres and to park it where they wished.

It took a long time for it to be accepted that if all motorists took their cars into our main cities or small towns and no parking provision was made they would merely sit in enormous traffic jams. At that stage public opinion caught up with what successive Ministers of Transport had been trying to do.

Whenever any restriction was introduced, whether it be for off-street car parking or anything else, there was always an enormous amount of fuss and uproar. My right hon. Friend has been painted as a villian but he has said that if the local people, who know something of the problems, wish to use their powers, they are powers that he thinks it right they should have. It may be that many local authorities will not need to use the powers now, but I have the feeling that they will need to do so in future.

My only reservation is that the powers are vested in the county councils and not in the lower tier of local government where those who know their districts could best make their own decisions.

Mr. Stephen Ross

I wish to get one or two things straight. The Opposition spokesman, the hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Fowler), made great play of the voting of the Liberal peers in another place. I have in front of me the speech of Viscount Simon, which makes it clear why the Liberal Lords voted as they did. If the hon. Gentleman takes the trouble to read the debate, he will see that one reason that caused them to vote as they did was that no provision had been made for the disabled. Their other complaint concerned appeals against decisions. Lord Simon said that the Liberal peers would vote against clause 9 in the hope that those matters would be put right and that a new clause would be introduced. The right hon. Gentleman has done just that by introducing the amendments.

The clause is a minimum measure when we consider what is needed to deal with the problems of inner urban traffic. In London we had the Labour-controlled GLC removing parking meters. Immediately the Labour Party was out of office, the Tory-controlled GLC started to replace the meters. Heaven knows what the cost has been to the ratepayers and taxpayers, but it must have been hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The lady chairman of the Tory GLC transport committee made the ridiculous statement that she would speed up London buses by removing more and more conductors and providing more and more one-man buses. Any hon. Member who travels on buses will know that the last thing anybody wants to do is to get on a double-decker bus in London which has the driver taking the fares and no conductor. That is a recipe for making the slowest progress possible. At times it can take half an hour in the morning to get from Millbank to Piccadilly Circus. Day in and day out, there are traffic jams along the Embankment. On a Friday evening it takes over an hour to get to Putney. In those circumstances, surely hon. Members on both sides of the House must realise that something has to be done.

London has the worst traffic record of any city in the western world. That was commented upon recently. We have before us a minor measure to deal with a situation which has to be tackled far more seriously. The aim is to provide further means of regulating traffic in urban areas. It does not seek to do very much. I cannot understand why such a fuss is being made. I should like to see the Secretary of State going much further. We cannot continue to put up with the present situation.

Mr. Norman Fowler

What evidence does the hon. Gentleman have for believing that the controls that we are discussing will do any good whatsoever? If he has come to the conclusion that they will not do any good—presumably that is what he is saying—why does he intend to vote for them?

Mr. Ross

I am not saying that. I am trying to point out that on the ground of political expediency the two main parties have not attempted seriously to tackle the problems over the past 20 years. Both parties are frightened to death of upsetting motorists, and I happen to be a motorist. The parties do not take the necessary steps to deal with inner urban traffic problems. However, at long last it appears that the general public are willing to use public transport again. It is clear that they are going back on to the railways. There has been increasing use of trains in recent months.

To do nothing to tackle the problem seems to me to abrogate the responsibility. That is why I cannot go along with the Opposition, who wish to kick out a minor measure. It is a democratic measure because it will be left to the local authorities to decide whether they wish to take up the powers, and I am a believer in local democracy.

6.0 p.m.

Mr. Ronald Atkins

I do not understand what the Opposition find frightening in this proposal. It seems innocuous enough. Powers are to be devolved to the county councils. If anything could emasculate the car parking regulation system, it is to give those powers to the shire counties. They will do practically nothing. They are already road oriented and are likely to remain so for many years.

The position as regards the metropolitan areas will be different. But, again, I do not know what the Opposition are frightened about. They speak with great confidence about the transport chairmen in London and Nottingham being thrown out at local elections because of their traffic management policies. Nevertheless, they still think that there is danger. Apparently they cannot trust county councillors, whether Conservative or Labour.

It seems sensible and logical that metropolitan areas, which have power to control traffic and to provide public transport with subsidies, should have these car parking powers as well. It seems more democratic that those who elect local councillors should be able to express their views through those councillors. I am confident that councillors in cities will be responsive to the demands of the inhabitants that something should be done to reduce the terrible congestion that takes place in cities.

Something was said about a brave new world and Labour wanting to go into it. It would seem that the Opposition do not want that. That is the direction in which most of the world has moved. Throughout the world, traffic regulation powers are in the hands of local authorities. They are much greater powers than we are giving in the Bill.

Los Angeles and Tokyo—fast-flying cities—are able to stop traffic going into the cities if they so wish. Tokyo has regulations to stop all cars going into the city. The same applies to Los Angeles. There are other cities in a similar position. For example, the laws on pollution in some countries are very stringent. Why are we so backward? It seems that the Opposition are bent on picking out the nits, especially with the approach of a General Election.

There is nothing revolutionary in this proposal. It is perfectly logical. However, I wish that the district councils were to be responsible. Indeed, as has been said, it seems ridiculous that, in the county of Avon, Bristol rather than the rural areas should have this power. It is probably the worst example in the country. But there are many similar examples of the powers of the county council overriding the expert local knowledge of the district councils.

It is a great pity that we use transport as a means of party conflict in this Chamber. The result is great human suffering. Indeed, there is greater loss of life because of it. Most people are killed on the roads in urban areas, not on the motorways. The situation is so bad that we need to increase the powers where they will be more effective. It is a great pity that we cannot be non-partisan on this matter. This problem cries out for a solution. The Government are providing part of the solution but no more, and certainly it is not very revolutionary.

Mr. Temple-Morris

I sympathise with what the hon. Member for Preston, North (Mr. Atkins) said about a certain amount of non-partisanship in transport matters. I believe that we have established a reasonable rapport on transport matters. The hon. Gentleman might agree that most hon. Members—even the hon. Member for Brigg and Scunthorpe (Mr. Ellis)—are on speaking terms with the Opposition. Indeed, we hear a lot from the hon. Member for Brigg and Scunthorpe, but that does not prevent this great non-partisan feeling. This is not a question of trying to be non-partisan all the time. We disagree with this proposal.

The hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) talked about being in fear of the motorist. However, many motorists have a case to be put. When the Government are being unfair to those motorists, somebody should criticise the Government for being unfair.

As the Secretary of State said, we have been round this course on a number of occasions. We all have sympathy with that view. Indeed, my hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Fowler) and others of my hon. Friends have put the main points of the argument. Therefore, I shall come straight to what I believe to be the most important point in these discussions. This point, which was made by the Secretary of State, mirrors our constructive opposition. The result of our vigorous opposition to the clause is plain to see. The Secretary of State said—and the point should be underlined—that this power should be used only for relief of congestion in urban areas and that the fear of the power being used in unnecessary places all over the country was clearly removed. Indeed. I understand that the Department will issue guidance to authorities on this matter.

Again, in response to another concern, the Secretary of State said that he would consider intervention if there were any abuse. That is the clear construction that we put on his words. If the clause becomes part of the Bill—this is a tribute to the Opposition as much as to the wisdom of the Secretary of State in taking note of what we have said—it will apply to our major metropolitan and urban areas.

Mr. Anderson

If the hon. Gentleman accepts that it is appropriate to have such a power in congested inner urban areas, why does he rule out holiday areas where there is congestion at certain times of the year and where the problem may be just as acute?

Mr. Temple-Morris

I do not accept anything. Indeed, that was not the purport of what I was saying. I was not accepting that this should go anywhere. My earlier remarks, which admittedly were rather speedily made, should have left no one in any doubt about that. In the spirit of non-partisanship which has been mentioned, at least wholehearted opposition results in some give. We know where we are. I should not be in favour of this proposal at all. Indeed, I made that clear in some detail on Report.

The importance of the inquiry procedure is mirrored by what happened in London. Between 4,000 and 5,000 representations were made against the London scheme by the then Labour-controlled GLC. The result of those representations was absolutely nil. There was no inquiry, let alone intervention by the Secretary of State. Therefore, it is important that he should now say that he will consider intervention if there is any abuse.

Finally, I offer an olive branch, if possible, or a reaching across in the generous spirit that we have on transport matters in the direction of none other than the hon. Member for Brigg and Scunthorpe. We have heard a lot from him and have disagreed with him. As this Session and Parliament fade away, however, and as the voices which are heard—not least the hon. Member's—on transport matters go elsewhere into the country, his words about the district councils having much greater voice and assuming these powers are words with which many hon. Members on both sides of the House can agree.

I hope that the hon. Member for Preston, North will approve of the way that I end my speech. I am a friend of local government reorganisation, in particular the 1972 provisions. This matter has to be looked at, and who better to advocate it than an honorary vice-president of the Association of District Councils, otherwise known as the hon. Member for Brigg and Scunthorpe?

Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson (Newbury)

I shall detain the House only briefly. I am suspicious when I hear that the Secretary of State wants to give powers to authorities whether they intend to use them or not. Generally, when Ministers give powers they look towards a day when they will be used. Therefore, if this power is given, a measure of control is provided which does not exist at present. I do not wish to see that power given, for the simple reason that it might be used.

My county council has not been writing letters to me in the past month begging me to support the Secretary of State in clause 9, which gives the powers to regulate car parks. It has not said that it needs this power to control the traffic in Reading or Newbury. The county council seems satisfied with the powers that it possesses.

How many county councils have asked the Secretary of State for these powers which he now so generously offers to them? Have a majority of county councils asked for the powers? Will he give a figure? Is what he is proposing tonight the first part of a package which will ultimately include privately owned car parks? That is the doubt that lies in the minds of many of my hon. Friends. They feel that this is the first prong of a fork which ultimately will give authorities the power to limit the ability of motorists to drive their cars where they choose.

The hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) talked about parking meters and the GLC. He explained how, when Labour was in control, parking meters were taken away and how now the Conservatives are in control and parking meters are coming back. Parking meters provide parking places for cars. If they are there, cars can come in to the city. If they are not, cars cannot come in. An authority can take to itself the ability to limit the freedom of people who, having bought their cars with the intention of using them, having paid all the required taxes, may not use their vehicles because a local authority decides that they shall not do so.

Whether the Secretary of State likes it or not, he knows that by these regulations that he has fought so hard to retain he intends to give a power that will limit the right of individuals to use their cars. Since I do not believe that those regulations are required and I wish to retain as much freedom for the individual as possible, I do not support the Secretary of State but I support the Lords.

Mr. Moate

I agreed with the Secretary of State in only one of his remarks. He said that these were old and familiar arguments. I agree. The House has gone over this ground on many occasions recently. However, that does not make the argument less effective.

I am surprised by the continuing obstinacy of the Secretary of State in persisting with a proposal which is unwanted by anybody except members of the Labour Party. Apparently it is also now wanted by the Liberal Party. We have heard a clear statement from a spokesman of the Liberal Party that the Liberals are in favour of the proposition. However, they criticise it because it does not go far enough. The spokesman, by implication, criticised the Liberal transport spokesman for not having had the percipience of the Liberals in the House of Lords who voted against the proposal.

6.15 p.m.

The hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) explained that by saying that the Liberals voted against it in the Lords on two grounds—that there was no appeals procedure and that it did not make proper provision for the disabled. There is still no appeals procedure. The Government have not moved an amendment to provide that procedure, and yet the hon. Member for Isle of Wight still feels able to support the proposition.

The Secretary of State has not been obstinate about the disabled. We welcome his amendment which allows submissions to be made on behalf of the disabled in areas where it is proposed to license privately operated public car parks. Without a mandatory appeals procedure, however, that is not satisfactory. If he wishes, the Secretary of State need not have an appeals procedure, even if organisations for the disabled feel that alternative and convenient facilities are not available. The Government's proposal for the disabled is not as satisfactory as it might seem.

At the last minute there is an amendment which seems to be welcomed, but it seems to apply to all parts of the country except Greater London. I am sure that the House does not wish me to present a Committee argument about clause 9. I hope, however, that the Secretary of State will say whether I am correct to say that representations can be made on behalf of the disabled anywhere in the United Kingdom except Greater London. That is the way in which the Bill appears to have been drafted. If I am right, how does the Secretary of State propose to deal with it? It is unacceptable that a Bill should go on to the statute book in that form.

I agree with the last point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Mr. McNair-Wilson). This is an unwanted power. It limits the freedom of the consumer to choose his mode of transport. It is a Socialist proposal. Those who say that we should have a non-partisan agreement on these matters should be clear that that is a Socialist proposal. For that reason, we shall vote against it.

The power exists in only one area—the Greater London area. Only the Socialist-controlled GLC chose to exercise the power. Thank heavens, as soon as there was a change of control the Conservatives decided to abandon the proposals. No other local authority is clamouring for this power. A Socialist Government intend to introduce it so that—heaven forbid—if Labour controls London again it will be used. It is a Socialist measure which will be waiting for Socialist administrations to place more controls on motorists.

Mr. Ronald Atkins

If it is a Socialist proposal, it is one that has been adopted by many Conservative Governments throughout the world. Is it not time that the British Tories caught up?

Mr. Moate

We are concerned about the way in which we run our affairs in this country. We are faced with a Socialist measure which will place more controls on the motorist. The proposal is superfluous. It could be damaging and will contribute nothing to traffic management schemes, about which the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight spoke.

Supporters of the proposition have said that we have made strides forward in traffic management schemes in the last two decades. Much has been achieved without this type of power. Massive planning powers are available to local authorities. The motorists of this country would be filled with incredulity at the proposition that there are not enough powers already to achieve the results that we all want to achieve in terms of traffic management.

Mr. John Ellis

The hon. Member says that Socialists are seeking to curb the freedom of the motorist. Why does he not use the same argument on planning matters? Local authorities decide that certain areas shall be used for car parks or for shopping. The hon. Member appears to be prepared to accept Socialism in that area but not in this.

Mr. Moate

Let me make the point briefly. I suspect that the House wishes to conic to a decision on this matter fairly soon, so I hope that the hon. Member will forgive me if I do not give way again. The point I am making is simply that there is a massive panoply of powers that already exist and are available to local authorities. This further power is not needed. All we are providing is yet another weapon in the Socialist armoury for more controls in the future to deprive the transport user, the consumer, of his freedom to choose the most efficient mode of transport.

Let us very quickly look at the book. We do not have to gaze into the crystal Let us see how the GLC exercised its powers and what it would have done if it had had time to implement these proposals. When Labour was in control, pursuing a quite blatantly anti-motorist policy, what did the GLC do? The GLC sought to remove many of the very parking meters that the Secretary of State was saying that he helped to introduce 20 years ago. It took about 4,000 parking meters. It closed some of the car parks so that motorists could not get into them before 11 o'clock in the mornine.

It was a deliberate policy to try to reduce the depedence of the motorist on his car and to shift people over to public transport. It was a quite clear policy of restricting the motorist. It was a blatant anti-motorist policy, although the Secretary of State may choose to deny this.

The GLC achieved those cuts in the freedom of the motorist with its previous powers. It did not have time to implement its powers of control as defined in the clause. How much more power would the GLC exercise if it went on to the further stage, which the Secretary of State supports—and the Liberal Party, apparently—of control of private nonresidential parking, which includes all the office blocks as well?

This is the thin edge of the wedge. There is no doubt that if we proceed with this proposal the Labour Party, in its manifesto—one hopes that it will be many years before it has a chance to implement it—would seek to take it a further step forward. The Secretary of State made it clear that the only reason why he has not got even more extreme proposals this Session is that it was a crowded Session. He has explained his commitment—he made it absolutely clear—to the introduction of further restrictions on car parking and on the motorist.

I conclude by simply saying that there is no inquiry procedure either for discruntled motorists or for the person who has provided car parks under existing planning rules. Basically we have an undemocratic system in which the Secretary of State can impose his will. All I can say further on that score is that when the GLC introduced its proposals there were 4.600 complainants against them. Yet the Secretary of State did not feel it right to have an appeal. Frankly, if 4,600 people complain and he still does not feel that an appeal is justified, the people, and motorists in particular, cannot look to him for any defence of their interests.

I suspect that that is one of the reasons why this proposal is so widely opposed. It is opposed by the Automobile Association and by the Royal Automobile Club. It is now unwanted by the GLC. The British Road Federation and others have all opposed it. The House of Lords has now opposed it and has given us this opportunity to reject it once and for all. I forgot the Liberal Party. The Liberals are for it and against it, so we do not know exaclty where they stand. But let this House make clear where it stands. Let us reject this proposal and let us agree with the Lords in their amendment.

Mr. William Rodgers

By leave of the House. Mr. Deputy Speaker, I should like to reply.

On the specific point about which the hon. Member for Faversham (Mr. Moate) asked me. as to how the amendment affected London, we did not think it right to attempt to amend the 1969 Act in this respect. But, of course, I have discretion to call in a scheme, and certainly I would propose to act in London in the spirit of the amendment, because I agree entirely that the amendment with regard to the disabled is an important one. I pay tribute to all those who played some part in bringing it forward. Assuming always that the House intends to pass that amendment this evening, certainly it would condition the way in which I acted. I shall act in the spirit of it—I give that undertaking to the House—in dealing with further applications under the 1969 Act as it affects London.

Mr. Norman Fowler

It is a very curious anomaly that we now have a law which applies—I accept what the Secretary of State is saying—everywhere outside London but, because of administrative difficulties, apparently, we are not able to apply it to London. That is unsatisfactory and it deserves a little more explanation than the Secretary of State is giving.

Mr. Rodgers

If the hon. Gentleman thought about what he was seeking to do this evening, he would find that he is seeking to perpetuate an anomaly—that we have one law affecting parking in London and we do not have such a law affecting other harts of the country. He is seeking to maintain that position. whereas I am seeking in the Bill to remedy it. It is very perverse of the hon Member to argue precisely the contrary and to say that in this case we should have conformity in London with the counties, although he does not want to have conformity and the same opportunities for the counties as London. If the hon. Member would like to think about it for a little while, perhaps he will send me a note later in the evening to confirm that I am right.

I have made the undertaking plain to the House. I do not think that the hon. Member for Faversham should be too ungenerous, because that is rather out of keeping with his character as I understand it. I have said that in seeking to make sure that the provisions of the 1969 Act as they affect London are taken proper care of, I shall act in the spirit of the amendment. However, it would not be right or practical, in a Bill of this kind, to introduce an amendment related to London itself.

I was tempted by many of the points made to cover ground with which we were familiar, but I think everyone has agreed that we have travelled this road before and we have stopped in this place on many occasions. I do not honestly believe that most of the arguments were new. There is an honest difference of opinion. I should like to believe that we could approach these matters in a non-partisan spirit, because I think that ideology which is suitable for some circumstances is very unrelated to problems of traffic manage

ment. The more we seek to bring partisanship into matters of this kind, the more in the long run we shall bring the House into disrepute.

There are matters of political philosophy and ideology which we should dispute, but not when it comes to deciding which parking shall be regulated and which parking shall not be regulated. This is a matter of judgment. I am prepared to say that circumstances may show that local authorities do not wish to exercise the powers which I hope the House will give them tonight. That is a matter of their judgment, and they are entitled to it. The Opposition are entitled to their judgment about when such powers should be exercised.

However, I believe that this is a constructive measure, essential to traffic management in urban areas and helpful both to those who use a private car and to those who use public transport, and to the very many people, among whom I include myself, who use both a private car and public transport from time to time as appropriate.

Question put, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 116, Noes 109.

Division No. 321] AYES [6.28 p.m.
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Forrester, John Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)
Atkinson, Norman (H'gey, Tott'ham) Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Molloy, William
Bagier, Gordon A. T. George, Bruce Morris, Rt Hon Charles R.
Blenkinsop, Arthur Golding, John Morton, George
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Grant, John (Islington C) Noble, Mike
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) O'Halloran, Michael
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Orbach, Maurice
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Campbell, Ian Horam, John Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S) Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Palmer, Arthur
Coleman, Donald Hunter, Adam Park, George
Conlan, Bernard Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Penhaligon, David
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) John, Brynmor Price, C. (Lewisham W)
Corbett, Robin Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Rees, Rt Hon Meriyn (Leeds S)
Cowans, Harry Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Robinson, Geoffrey
Crawshaw, Richard Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Rodgers, Gaorge (Chorley)
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham) Lamond, James Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Rooker, J. W.
Davidson, Arthur Lee, John Roper, John
Deakins, Eric Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Litterick, Tom Rowlands, Ted
Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Loyden, Eddie Ryman, John
Dormand, J. D. Luard, Evan Sever, John
Duffy, A. E. P. Lyon, Alexander (York) Silverman, Julius
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth McCartney, Hugh Spearing, Nigel
Eadie, Alex McKay, Allen (Penistone) Spriggs, Leslie
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Stallard, A. W.
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Steel, Rt Hon David
English, Michael Madden, Max Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Evans, loan (Aberdare) Marks, Kenneth Stoddart, David
Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Meacher, Michael Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Tinn, James
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Tomlinson, John
Wainwright, Edwin (Deanne V) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick Woof, Robert
Walker, Terry (Kingswood) William, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Ward, Michael Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Watkinson, John Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington) Ma. Jim Marshall and
Weetch, Ken Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton) Mr. Tod Graham.
Whitehead, Phillip Wise, Mrs Audrey
Alison, Michael Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Page, Richard (Workington)
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Percival, Ian
Bain, Mrs Margaret Heseltine, Michael Peyton, Rt Hon John
Banks, Robert Higgins, Terence L. Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Bell, Ronald Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Raison, Timothy
Bendall, Vivian Hunt, David (Wirral) Rhodes James, R.
Berry, Hon Anthony Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Biggs-Davison, John Hutchison, Michael Clark Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Blaker, Peter James, David Rifkind, Malcolm
Bottomley, Peter Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'df'd) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Jessel, Toby Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Brittan, Leon Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Buck, Antony Kimball, Marcus Sainsbury, Tim
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Knight, Mrs Jill St. John-Stevas, Norman
Clark, William (Croydon S) Le Marchant, Spencer Scott-Hopkins, James
Clegg, Walter Luce, Richard Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) MacCormick, lain Silvester, Fred
Costain, A. P. Macfarlane, Neil Sims, Roger
Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E) MacGregor, John Skeet, T. H. H.
Dean, Paul (N Somerset) MacKay, Andrew (Stechford) Speed, Keith
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Durant, Tony Marten, Neil Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Dykes, Hugh Mather, Carol Stanbrook, Ivor
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Mawby, Ray Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Fairgrieve, Russell Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Fell, Anthony Meyer, Sir Anthony Tebbit, Norman
Fisher, Sir Nigel Moate, Roger Temple-Morris, Peter
Forman, Nigel Molyneaux, James Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) More, Jasper (Ludlow) Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Fry, Peter Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Viggers, Peter
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Neave, Airey Weatherill, Bernard
Goodhart, Philip Nelson, Anthony Winterton, Nicholas
Goodhew, Victor Neubert, Michael Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Normanton, Tom
Gray, Hamish Nott, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Grieve, Percy Onslow, Cranley Mr. John Stradling Thomas and
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Page, John (Harrow West) Mr. Jim Lester.
Hampson, Dr Keith Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)

Question accordingly agreed to.

Amendment made to the words so restored to the Bill: in page 10, line 34, at end insert—

(3A) Any such Order shall also require councils—

  1. (a) to consult organisations representative of the disabled before deciding to propose the designation of a controlled area under the Order; and
  2. (b) if representations are received from such organisations about the proposal, to send to the Secretary of State (together with copies of representations received from other organisations consulted) a statement of how parking requirements of the disabled arising from implementation of the proposal are met by existing facilities or, if in the opinion of the council they are not already so met, how it is intended to meet them.'.—[Mr. William Rodgers.]

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