HC Deb 12 February 1985 vol 73 cc267-79

Queen's Recommendation having been signified

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Transport Bill, it is expedient to authorise the extinguishment of liabilities of the National Bus Company in respect of sums lent to it under section 20 of the Transport Act 1962 and the payment out of money provided by Parliament of— (a) any expenditure of the Secretary of State—

  1. (i) in connection with the dissolution of the National Bus Company;
  2. (ii) in respect of the salaries or remuneration of traffic commissioners and persons acting as their officers and servants;
  3. (iii) in respect of the remuneration of members of the Transport Tribunal and the other expenses of the tribunal;
  4. (iv) in making grants to persons operating or proposing to operate public passenger transport services in rural areas in Great Britain; and
  5. (v) in making grants to the British Railways Board in respect of their costs in securing the provision of bus substitution services;
(b) any increase in payments out of money so provided arising from any increase in administrative expenses of the Secretary of State attributable to the provisions of that Act; and (c) any increase in payments out of money so provided under any other enactment.—[Mr. Ridley.]

10.27 pm
Mr. Roy Hughes (Newport, East)

In discussing this money resolution as a Welsh Member of this House, I should be remiss if I did not express the concern and consternation that is felt in Wales both among the employees of bus undertakings, local authorities and officials and among the elected representatives about the provisions of the Bill. They will increasingly affect ordinary members of the public.

As for the money resolution, it seems to me that the objective of the Secretary of State is to cut out subsidies altogether or severely to reduce them, entirely irrespective of their merit. It is a doctrinaire approach on the part of the Secretary of State.

There is a financial provision in the Bill, clause 89, which enables the Secretary of State to make grants to operators of public passenger transport in rural areas. The amount is fairly negligible and is certainly quite inadequate to meet the problem that will be confronted. Already a non-partisan body, the National Federation of Women's Institutes, has pointed out that the effect of deregulation on tendering will be disastrous for those people who live in rural areas. A small concession has been made, but presumably this is only because of the pressure exerted by bodies like the National Federation of Women's Institutes.

I think of the pensioner on the outskirts of Newport who wrote to me: I am a pensioner. I am also disabled. Our local council has done a wonderful job in the circumstances. Our bus service is excellent. What a tribute, bearing in mind all the attacks that bus undertakings have received from the Secretary of State.

From my experience I endorse the sentiments of that pensioner. Where a local authority is providing a good bus service, surely it should be left alone. The local authorities have operated in difficult circumstances. They need every possible encouragement and not the punitive measures that are contained in the Bill.

The Secretary of State proposes to hive off local authority bus undertakings into separate companies. As I see it, the wish is to make them insolvent, so that they can then be sold off cheaply to private operators. As a result, undoubtedly it is the needy and the less affluent members of society who will suffer.

Another provision concerns the National Bus Company. The intention is to privatise it—or, rather, to split it into smaller units. That organisation has functioned successfully in difficult circumstances. How much does the nation stand to lose if it is sold off? I hope that the Minister will give us facts and figures tonight.

Another financial provision, contained in clause 90, empowers the Secretary of State to make regulations restricting the payment of grants towards duty charged on bus fuel to operators of local services. Likewise, clause 91 provides for a reduction of fuel duty grant where services are unregistered or unreliable. I do not doubt that there will be many unreliable services if the Secretary of State's proposals come to fruition.

When history is written, the Government will be known by the slogan, "If it moves, privatise it." This sort of policy is unsound politically and economically. Certainly it has done the country immense harm. Anyone who believes that the proposals in the Bill and the money resolution will provide a better bus service for the citizens of Britain must live in cloud-cuckoo-land.

10.34 pm
Mr. Anthony Steen (South Hams)

I wish to assist my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport by saying that I believe that this money resolution follows the Second Reading of one of the most exciting developments that is likely to occur in public transport. It is imaginative and visionary and gives new hope for the consumer and new scope for operators. The proposals will sweep away the rules and regulations, free the public monopoly and build up opportunities for competition.

The Bill is about deregulation of an industry, allowing it to revert to normal business practice without Government intervention. We know, that with public funds and finance, the more that the Government intervene, the more they distort. For example, Liverpool has been buffeted by successive Governments constantly pouring money into a city that has declined the more that that money has been poured in. The more money that is poured in, the greater has been the distortion that has taken place, and the more difficult it has been for private enterprise to flourish.

Through the Bill, the money that is being poured into the bus industry will be released, revived and altered so that the progressive decline will be halted. That is the message. More public money does not result in better services and better value for money. In the most subtle and enterprising way the Secretary of State is trying to stop the intervention that has resulted in the decline of bus services.

Where does my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State see the role of the community bus? At the moment, this service gets a lot of help from the local authorities. It gets funding from the public sector by way of a bus, and then volunteers drive the bus. There is a good example of that in my constituency, the Coleridge bus, which serves Kingsbridge. The Exe Market Valley bus serves the Tiverton constituency, and the Tavistock community bus serves the elderly in Tavistock who face difficulties with the steep hills in that area. All these services are non-profit-making, so will my right hon. Friend explain how this will work, because they have an important and valuable contribution to make?

What will be the financial implications for taxis? Taxi operators have, in many cases, spent large sums of money on their licence plates. It would be helpful if my right hon. Friend will say whether he believes that some transitional arrangements can be made so that those who have invested this money in the industry will not find themselves penniless. It would also be helpful if he said something about taxis operating as buses. Will there be any financial help for the taxi operators who want to develop their services, perhaps by getting larger taxis and running a bus service from some of the villages around the market towns? That would be welcomed in my constituency.

One of the criticisms of the financial provisions as they are set out concerns some of the big bus companies such as Western National, which have withdrawn some of their central services. One of the constant complaints is that Western National has withdrawn its coast service from Plymouth, Salcombe, Dartmouth and Exeter because it was not profitable. The money resolution will affect this company. Does my right hon. Friend see some of the small new enterprises starting in such a way that the people of these towns can look forward to a new, entreprenurial service running along the coast? Is my right hon. Friend thinking of issuing directions on planning regulations to the district councils so that those who start one or two-man businesses from their homes will not be prevented from doing so by district councils saying "You are running a small firm, and you need planning consent." Some opportunities must be provided in that respect.

Will my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State say something about the marginal and fat routes? The fat routes will attract competition. We must be careful to ensure that that competition does not result in closed shops, with the operators doing deals with each other. It would be helpful if my hon. Friend ensured that private enterprise is allowed to develop and compete and ensured that deals are not struck between operators on the fat routes. Unless the operators on the thin routes are given a chance to compete on the fat routes, they may not survive.

The Bill is a cracker. It will crack the monopolies. It will awaken a moribund sunset industry. It will crack restrictive practices. It will crack artificially high fares by allowing healthy competition and the operation of market forces. The Bill will breathe new life into the transport industry and herald a new era for all those wishing to use a better, more flexible and more competitive bus service.

10.41 pm
Mr. Richard Caborn (Sheffield, Central)

Probably every hon. Member knows that transport fares in south Yorkshire are extremely low. For the past 10 or 12 years, the county council's policy has been to transport people around the county in a convenient and attractive way. This model has been developed with the consent of the broad spectrum of the people in south Yorkshire.

The fare for a two-mile journey in south Yorkshire is 5p, in Manchester and Leeds it is 30p, and in Birmingham, it is 32p. The fare for a 10-mile journey in south Yorkshire is 15p and in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham it is 70p.

The Secretary of State has said that the number of passengers has declined. The latest available figures for south Yorkshire show that there are 350 million journeys a year, 264 million of which are provided by the PTE. The population of south Yorkshire is 1.3 million. There has been an increase year on year in the number of passengers carried by the PTE. I believe that the call of the industry is, "The object is to put bums on seats." We have been extremely successful in doing that.

A substantial part of the Government's case for the introduction of the Transport Bill, as outlined in the White Paper and ministerial statements, is based on allegations that the large public operations in general, and PTEs in particular, cause an unreasonable demand for massive increases in subsidies, their operations being inefficient and showing no economies of scale and south Yorkshire being an outstanding example.

Many studies of the bus industry have been made to determine its overall efficiency and the related efficiency of individual units in that industry. The studies include "The Efficiency of British Urban Bus Operators", Transport Studies Group research report No. 8, which was published in December 1982; the Transport and Road Research Laboratory's reports; the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report on stage carrier services; and the annual inter-PTE comparisons. These have revealed numerous yardsticks by which the industry can be measured. The efficiency of the industry—which has come under some criticism, to say the least, from the Government Benches this evening — ought to be considered very seriously when we draw these comparisons. Of all these yardsticks, the best for comparing similar types of bus operation is the cost per journey. The total cost per journey includes traffic operation, servicing, repairs and maintenance, management, welfare, training and asset utilisation. The south Yorkshire PTE's cost per journey on this basis is 26.4p, which compares with the average for other PTEs of 30.3p. The costs used to calculate these figures come from the inter-PTE comparisons 1983–84.

The Secretary of State for Transport claims that the cost of PTE operations is rising rapidly. The total direct operating costs for south Yorkshire rose from £67.35 million in 1982–83 to £69.64 million in 1983–84, an increase of 3.4 per cent., which is less than the rate of inflation for this period. The real cost of direct operations has, therefore, fallen. In the case of London, which, ironically, is excluded from the delicensing and tendering provisions of this Bill, the increase in direct operation costs was 5.1 per cent.

Developments are taking place in manpower productivity and vehicle maintenance organisation which will produce further savings. The service, repair and maintenance costs in south Yorkshire have been reduced from 48.1p per vehicle mile in 1982–83 to 46.4p per vehicle mile in 1983–84. With the exception of Tyne and Wear, south Yorkshire's costs in this area are the lowest of the PTEs-81 per cent. of London's costs.

The buses White Paper attaches considerable importance to unfavourable comparisons of PTE costs with those of the National Bus Company. A careful study of the appendix to the White Paper shows that the percentage figures quoted are derived from national cost per mile statistics. This is a ridiculous basis of comparison since it involves a massive rural mileage—there was plenty of reference to this in the earlier debate this evening—run by the National Bus Company, where costs per mile are inevitably very low compared with costs per mile in urban centres where average traffic speeds are low and bus stops are much closer together.

The only true basis on which NBC and PTE costs can be compared is where both are run in the same territory. A comparison on this basis can be obtained from the inter-PTE comparisons summary of county operations 1982–83. This shows that in south Yorkshire PTE direct bus operations costs were 5.46p per passenger mile, while NBC costs were 5.78p per passenger mile. If the Secretary of State continues to insist that the comparison with NBC costs is a useful yardstick of efficiency, it should be pointed out that in the London Transport operating area London Transport's direct bus operation costs more than twice as much per passenger mile as NBC's costs; and London, I say once again, is excluded from the Bill.

A particular criticism made by the Secretary of State is that south Yorkshire spends too much in subsidising cheap fares in relation to the amount it spends on improving its services. An attempt to produce some scientific justification for this criticism of PTEs in general and south Yorkshire in particular was made by the Department of Transport—the Secretary of State's own Department—where work was carried out by the Economics Local Roads and Transport Division using a model developed by Dr. Stephen Glaister of the LSE. The report of this study was published by the Department of Transport in December 1982 and was entitled "Urban transport subsidies: an economic assessment of value for money"—something that I know is very dear to the Secretary of State's heart. This shows the changes in fares and services required so that subsidies could be more effectively employed in the PTE areas and in London.

It is notable that south Yorkshire was the only PTE which was shown to have a correct balance between fares and subsidies, and indeed services. In London, in order to obtain the best use of the subsidy then being provided, a reduction of 11 per cent. in fares and an increase of 19 per cent. in expenditure on services would be required.

The Government attempted to devalue the Glaister model as a means of comparing the efficiency of south Yorkshire's policy with that of some other areas by reducing the fares elasticity factor used in the formula from 0.3 to 0.15 elasticity. They sought to justify this by claiming that at lower fare levels there was lower elasticity. However, the Transport and Road Research Laboratory's study of fares elasticity could not find a corelationship between fare level and demand elasticity that was required to justify this. It could not be disproved that south Yorkshire had the right balance. The Department's 1982 study probably stands as an authoritative justification of the south Yorkshire policy in terms of cost-benefit analysis.

I ask the Secretary of State seriously to consider the south Yorkshire model, which has existed for more than 10 years. We have heard a former Member of the European Parliament speaking tonight from the Conservative Benches. Even the European Parliament's publication held up the south Yorkshire model as one to be followed, as a cost-effective benefit for transportation. I ask the Secretary of State to take on board the contributions from south Yorkshire Members and to use the south Yorkshire model when he is costing his policy.

10.50 pm
Mr. Jonathan Sayeed (Bristol, East)

No one can say with certainty that the Bill will produce enormous savings, dramatically increase public usage and be responsive to all customer demands. However, we can say with conviction that the current system is expensive, inefficient and largely unresponsive to what the public require. Therefore, change is necessary.

Revenue support in Avon has increased over the past 10 years from £66,000 to over £4.5 million, an increase of 6,800 per cent., or 21 times in real terms. At the same time services have been declining. Given the necessity for change, it is essential that we have a system that rewards the making of savings, increases public usage, introduces lower fares and provides services where they are wanted. If it is not implemented, the improvements to bus and taxi services that we all wish to see will not happen. Like it or not—I recognise that some Opposition Members do not like it—the system of reward that is called profit is the cost effective method yet devised for encouraging success.

The essential thrust of the Bill is right. By creating smaller service units, each as a profit centre geared by commercial necessity to public demand, we ensure that what is wanted prospers and what is inefficient, expensive or incompetently run fails.

I am less sure about some of the details of the Bill and the consequent revenue implications. It is essential to get the detail right because insufficient attention to detail will ruin a good and necessary measure.

First, I turn to the taxi provisions and the revenue implications. My right hon. Friend has already heard my hon. Friend the Member for South Hams (Mr. Steen) talking about the problems of taxi drivers. Owner drivers have spent either considerable time or money in obtaining their licences. In Bristol, for example, it takes about seven years to obtain a licence. In other places it will cost about £7,000 to obtain one. It seems that when the Bill is enacted that investment of time or money will count for nought. Indeed, the Bill will penalise the professional and encourage the amateur taxi driver. Under clause 14(2), a district council will be extremely limited in its ability to refuse licences. For instance, a district council will not be able to demand that a taxi driver knows the area before he plies for hire. The Bill will permit a man who has driven the maximum permissible hours in an HGV transporting baked beans round the country to get into a taxi cab and start driving people round the country.

The Bill as drafted will destroy the livelihood of the full-time cabbie because it will allow the part-timer to get into a car which will not necessarily be of the required standard, to take that part of the day which is profitable and to leave the less profitable part to be covered by the professional full-time cabbie.

Mr. Steen

Would my hon. Friend agree that the taxi driver will be able to use his taxi as a bus and therefore that some of the taxis may well develop into small bus services, leaving more room for others, which may be a profitable development?

Mr. Sayeed

What my hon. Friend says is correct, but a longer transitional period is needed in which to allow him to develop that type of expertise. In my hon. Friend's constituency, as, indeed, in the constituencies of most hon. Members, professional cabbies have to work long hours to make a livelihood. We must be careful not to destroy that at a stroke.

I therefore favour the extension of the use of taxis, and I am sure that the current provisions are far too tight. I am sure also that the provisions in the Bill are far too lax. These lax provisions will undermine the fundamental aim of the Bill by adversely affecting the professional driver financially, thus destroying the ability of cabbies to earn a living and to move to larger vehicles and to provide a bus/taxi service.

I deal next with the Hereford and Worcester experiment, which has certain revenue implications. It has been a success, but not a totally unqualified one. First, it is important to recognise that three out of four of the new operators have had their licences revoked at one time or another.

Mrs. Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)

That demonstrates clearly that the inspectors are doing their job in identifying faulty vehicles. That is what they are paid to do, and it is what they will continue to do.

Mr. Sayeed

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for having made that point, and I will deal with it now. We cannot all be as satisfied as she is.

Even with the present limited number of bus companies, passenger service vehicles are not being inspected in accordance with the law. I should like to know the revenue implications, and how my right hon. Friend seeks to ensure that, when there are more vehicles on the road, with more companies and more depots—some of which might be hard to find, to put it politely—they will be adequately inspected. I suggest that there is a good case on the grounds of safety alone — in addition to protecting passengers from the unprofessional operator who many have charged, and been paid for, season tickets for his service—for ensuring that the asset backing of any company wishing to take on a route is reasonable in relation to the operation that he seeks to run.

My hon. Friend has argued that cross-subsidies allow inefficiency to flourish. He is quite correct. Currently bus companies do not know how much they are losing on a route, and it is obviously essential that they quantify this. If one does not know how much one is losing, one cannot determine the necessary measures to take.

I am not convinced that the proposal to couple deregulation with tendering will assist in providing long-term and efficient services. There needs to be a sensible degree of control over the route licences issued. I ask my right hon. Friend to look at that matter again and determine the revenue implications.

An operator may tender for a route from 6 am to 11 pm and be paid £5,000, but someone operating a school bus takes the profitable part in the morning and evening and destroys the tendering basis of the person who tenders for the whole day. We need some regulation to maintain necessary services. We also need contract terms of sufficient length to encourage investment in modern equipment. Were there the time, I would want to know about bus stations, the construction of bus stops, about timetables and through ticketing services.

The Bill is a good measure. Previously we have had pious hopes and exhortation, which have failed—but not through want of trying. Legislation is necessary, but there needs to be some amendment before Third Reading.

11.1 pm

Mr. Bob Clay (Sunderland, North)

Will the Secretary of State say a few words about the position in Tyne and Wear? We have heard a great deal about the experiment in Hereford and Worcester. It is about time that a tribute was paid to the experiments not only in south Yorkshire but in my area of Tyne and Wear.

The Bill will effectively destroy £283 million investment in an integrated, modern public transport system in Tyne and Wear, with a metro system that is the envy of the world. How on earth can we run a concessionary travel system, when passes go through metro barriers, with any number of different operators? How can we operate a system of through ticketing—we call them transfers—from bus to metro? Fifty-eight per cent. of passengers on the metro use a bus before or after their journey on the metro. How can that system be run with any number of different operators?

For several years, at great but worth while expense, Tyne and Wear has pursued a policy to integrate, integrate, integrate. This Bill will disintegrate the public transport system. A quarter of a million people signed a petition the last time that the Government tried to destroy public transport in that area—out of a total population of only 1 million. They wanted to keep their system. Conservative Members spoke of petitions from rural areas signed by 100 people. It is an insult to the people of Tyne and Wear, who want to maintain the integrated system, that the Secretary of State cannot explain why he is introducing a Bill that will destroy the years and years of patient work and negotiation, when the NBC and the PTE have got the workers to learn new ways and about new machines, and with all the investment in the new ticketing system.

I wish to protest in the strongest possible terms that we have heard more about areas such as Hereford and Worcester than about Tyne and Wear, south Yorkshire, west Yorkshire, the west Midlands and the cities where the mass of our people live.

11.4 pm

Mr. Peter Pike (Burnley)

The Secretary of State showed in our earlier debate that he is quite unaware of the disastrous effect that the Bill will have on public transport, especially for the elderly, those in rural areas and those who depend on off-peak and Sunday services. He has also failed to understand the financial consequences of the Bill.

The Government propose to break up the National Bus Company into separate companies. In doing so they will not get the full valuation of that undertaking, which is based on its integrated services throughout the country.

The Government have failed to estimate and understand the financial implications of ensuring that the pension provisions of the employees of the National Bus Company are adequately safeguarded. If the Secretary of State considers the serious financial implications to the Government of the privatisation of the royal ordnance factories for which legislation was enacted in the last parliamentary session to the detriment of employees' pensions and conditions of employment he will see that they will also apply to the National Bus Company.

The Secretary of State has failed to realise the Bill's implications for concessionary fares. They are important to the elderly and disabled people who depend on them and it is not good enough to say that local government will have the right to continue to provide concessionary fares when the reorganisation takes place.

Once the Bill is enacted, the present system of passes which is operated in most areas will cease to exist and tokens will be introduced which will give a much lower value to the people receiving that concession. If fewer tokens are given there will be serious financial implications for the transport undertakings.

Tendering will be based on low wages and bad conditions. The ending of cross-subsidy and deregulation make it difficult to understand which companies will bid for routes of which they will not have exclusive use.

The Secretary of State must tell us the financial implications of redundancies for local authority transport undertakings. Every service that is lost will mean a reduction in employment. That will have implications for pension contributions and the maintenance of superannuation schemes and will have serious financial implications in the years ahead both on transport undertakings and local authorities.

I regret that I was unable to speak in the previous debate. All aspects of the Bill that the Government are forcing through have serious financial implications.

11.7 pm

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Nicholas Ridley)

In the brief time that is available to me I shall try to answer as many of the points that have been raised as possible. The hon. Member for Newport, East (Mr. Hughes), although describing this as a "punitive" measure, could not explain why the people of Hereford seemed to enjoy it quite so much, but he did ask the likely value of the National Bus Company, as did the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Pike). The debt of the NBC to the Government is currently £128 million. If the various parts are sold for more than that, there will be a net profit. If the various parts are sold for less than that, there wll be a net loss. I am not at all sure that it would have been possible to float the National Bus Company in its present form before even the White Paper was published because it would not have been attractive to the stock market.

My hon. Friend the Member for South Hams (Mr. Steen) asked about community buses. I can assure him that I too have an excellent community bus in my constituency, called the villager bus. Such buses will in future probably be eligible for innovation grants, and for the rural bus grant, and they will most likely be able to tender for subsidised services to the county council. However, my villager bus operates without subsidy and provides and excellent service to a large number of villages. It is the most wonderful new form of innovative village transport, which we want to see spread and encouraged. There will be nothing but help, assistance and encouragement to such arrangements under the provisions of this measure.

My hon. Friends the Members for Bristol, East (Mr. Sayeed) and for South Hams asked about taxi plates. Clause 14 sets out the conditions under which a local authority may or may not grant an extra licence. Exactly how long it will take for a taxi plate to reduce under those conditions is not easy to predict. It will reduce over time, not immediately.

My hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, East should note that there are licensing requirements. If a local authority exercises its power to license taxies—some do and some do not—it will also have power to supervise the quality of the vehicle and the driver in the sense to which my hon. Friend referred, of knowing the geography of the city and so on. Some local authorities do not restrict taxi licences or have a licensing system; of course, they lose the power to control and supervise. It is a matter for local discretion and I believe that it is right to leave it that way.

I was asked about taxis operating as buses. That will be possible under the Bill. They will be able to register services, in which event they will have to comply with all the requirements of a registered stage service. If they are in country districts, they will be eligible for the various forms of assistance in the Bill. They become, to all intents and purposes, buses.

The hon. Member for Sheffield, Central (Mr. Caborn) and—

It being three-quarters of an hour after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3 (Exempted Business).

The House divided: Ayes 264, Noes 183.

Division No. 101] [11.11 pm
Adley, Robert Colvin, Michael
Alexander, Richard Conway, Derek
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Coombs, Simon
Amess, David Cope, John
Ancram, Michael Cranborne, Viscount
Arnold, Tom Crouch, David
Ashby, David Currie, Mrs Edwina
Aspinwall, Jack Dickens, Geoffrey
Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H. Dicks, Terry
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble) Dorrell, Stephen
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Vall'y) Dover, Den
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) du Cann, Rt Hon Sir Edward
Baldry, Tony Dunn, Robert
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Durant, Tony
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Dykes, Hugh
Beggs, Roy Eggar, Tim
Bellingham, Henry Emery, Sir Peter
Bendall, Vivian Evennett, David
Benyon, William Eyre, Sir Reginald
Best, Keith Fairbairn, Nicholas
Biffen, Rt Hon John Farr, Sir John
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Favell, Anthony
Blackburn, John Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Forman, Nigel
Boscawen, Hon Robert Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n) Forth, Eric
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Fowler, Rt Hon Norman
Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard Fox, Marcus
Bright, Graham Franks, Cecil
Brinton, Tim Fraser, Peter (Angus East)
Brooke, Hon Peter Freeman, Roger
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) Fry, Peter
Browne, John Galley, Roy
Bryan, Sir Paul Garel-Jones, Tristan
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Gorst, John
Buck, Sir Antony Gow, Ian
Budgen, Nick Gower, Sir Raymond
Bulmer, Esmond Grant, Sir Anthony
Burt, Alistair Greenway, Harry
Butler, Hon Adam Gregory, Conal
Butterfill, John Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Carlisle, John (N Luton) Ground, Patrick
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Gummer, John Selwyn
Carttiss, Michael Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Cash, William Hampson, Dr Keith
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Hannam, John
Chapman, Sydney Hargreaves, Kenneth
Chope, Christopher Harris, David
Churchill, W. S. Haselhurst, Alan
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Clark, Sir W, (Croydon S) Hawkins, C. (High Peak)
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Hawkins, Sir Paul (SW N'folk)
Clegg, Sir Walter Hawksley, Warren
Cockeram, Eric Hayes, J.
Hayhoe, Barney Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Hayward, Robert Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Heddle, John Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Henderson, Barry Robinson, Mark (N'port W)
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Roe, Mrs Marion
Hickmet, Richard Rossi, Sir Hugh
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Rowe, Andrew
Hill, James Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Hind, Kenneth Ryder, Richard
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Holt, Richard Sayeed, Jonathan
Hordern, Peter Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Howard, Michael Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A) Shelton, William (Streatham)
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock) Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford) Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk) Shersby, Michael
Hubbard-Miles, Peter Silvester, Fred
Hunt, David (Wirral) Skeet, T. H. H.
Hunter, Andrew Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Jackson, Robert Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick Soames, Hon Nicholas
Jessel, Toby Speed, Keith
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Spence, John
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Spencer, Derek
Jones, Robert (W Herts) Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Squire, Robin
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Stanbrook, Ivor
Key, Robert Steen, Anthony
King, Roger (B'ham N'field) Stern, Michael
Knight, Gregory (Derby N) Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Knight, Mrs Jill (Edgbaston) Stevens, Martin (Fulham)
Knowles, Michael Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Knox, David Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Lamont, Norman Stokes, John
Lang, Ian Stradling Thomas, J.
Latham, Michael Sumberg, David
Lawler, Geoffrey Taylor, John (Solihull)
Lawrence, Ivan Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Temple-Morris, Peter
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh) Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.
Lilley, Peter Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Lloyd, Ian (Havant) Thompson, Donald (Calder V)
Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham) Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Luce, Richard Thornton, Malcolm
McCrindle, Robert Townend, John (Bridlington)
McCurley, Mrs Anna Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute) Tracey, Richard
Maclean, David John Trippier, David
Maginnis, Ken Twinn, Dr Ian
Major, John van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Malone, Gerald Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Marland, Paul Viggers, Peter
Mather, Carol Waddington, David
Mayhew, Sir Patrick Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Mellor, David Waldegrave, Hon William
Merchant, Piers Walker, Cecil (Belfast N)
Miller, Hal (B'grove) Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Mitchell, David (NW Hants) Wall, Sir Patrick
Morris, M. (N'hampton, S) Waller, Gary
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes) Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Moynihan, Hon C. Warren, Kenneth
Neale, Gerrard Watson, John
Needham, Richard Watts, John
Nelson, Anthony Wells, Sir John (Maidstone)
Neubert, Michael Whitfield, John
Newton, Tony Whitney, Raymond
Nicholls, Patrick Wiggin, Jerry
Norris, Steven Wilkinson, John
Onslow, Cranley Wolfson, Mark
Ottaway, Richard Wood, Timothy
Page, Sir John (Harrow W) Woodcock, Michael
Patten, John (Oxford) Yeo, Tim
Pattie, Geoffrey Young, Sir George (Acton)
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Younger, Rt Hon George
Pollock, Alexander
Powley, John Tellers for the Ayes:
Renton, Tim Mr. Archie Hamilton and
Rhodes James, Robert Mr. Mark Lennox-Boyd.
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Gould, Bryan
Alton, David Gourlay, Harry
Anderson, Donald Hamilton, James (M'well N)
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)
Ashdown, Paddy Hancock, Mr. Michael
Ashton, Joe Hardy, Peter
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Harman, Ms Harriet
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Harrison, Rt Hon Walter
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith
Barnett, Guy Haynes, Frank
Barron, Kevin Heffer, Eric S.
Beckett, Mrs Margaret Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Beith, A. J. Home Robertson, John
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh) Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)
Bidwell, Sydney Howells, Geraint
Blair, Anthony Hoyle, Douglas
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Boyes, Roland Hughes, Roy (Newport East)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) John, Brynmor
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) Johnston, Russell
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith) Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Bruce, Malcolm Kennedy, Charles
Buchan, Norman Kirkwood, Archy
Caborn, Richard Lamond, James
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M) Leadbitter, Ted
Campbell-Savours, Dale Leighton, Ronald
Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Lewis, Terence (Worsley)
Clarke, Thomas Litherland, Robert
Clay, Robert Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.) Loyden, Edward
Cohen, Harry McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Coleman, Donald McGuire, Michael
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Conlan, Bernard McKelvey, William
Cook, Frank (Stockton North) Mackenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston) McNamara, Kevin
Corbyn, Jeremy McTaggart, Robert
Cowans, Harry McWilliam, John
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Madden, Max
Craigen, J. M. Marek, Dr John
Crowther, Stan Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Maxton, John
Cunningham, Dr John Maynard, Miss Joan
Dalyell, Tam Meacher, Michael
Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly) Meadowcroft, Michael
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge Hl) Michie, William
Deakins, Eric Mikardo, Ian
Dewar, Donald Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Dixon, Donald Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
Dormand, Jack Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Douglas, Dick Nellist, David
Dubs, Alfred Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Duffy, A. E. P. O'Brien, William
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. O'Neill, Martin
Eadie, Alex Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Eastham, Ken Park, George
Ellis, Raymond Parry, Robert
Evans, John (St. Helens N) Patchett, Terry
Ewing, Harry Pavitt, Laurie
Fatchett, Derek Penhaligon, David
Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn) Pike, Peter
Fisher, Mark Prescott, John
Flannery, Martin Randall, Stuart
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Redmond, M.
Forrester, John Rees, Rt Hon M, (Leeds S)
Foster, Derek Richardson, Ms Jo
Foulkes, George Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Fraser, J. (Norwood) Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Robertson, George
Freud, Clement Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Garrett, W. E. Rogers, Allan
George, Bruce Rowlands, Ted
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Sheerman, Barry
Godman, Dr Norman Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Golding, John Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood) Tinn, James
Short, Mrs R. (W'hampt'n NE) Torney, Tom
Skinner, Dennis Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'bury) Wareing, Robert
Smith, Cyril (Rochdale) Welsh, Michael
Snape, Peter Wigley, Dafydd
Soley, Clive Williams, Rt Hon A.
Spearing, Nigel Winnick, David
Steel, Rt Hon David Woodall, Alec
Stott, Roger Young, David (Bolton SE)
Strang, Gavin
Straw, Jack Tellers for the Noes:
Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth) Dr. Roger Thomas and
Thompson, J. (Wansbeck) Mr. Austin Mitchell.
Thorne, Stan (Preston)

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Transport Bill, it is expedient to authorise the extinguishment of liabilities of the National Bus Company in respect of sums lent to it under section 20 of the Transport Act 1962 and the payment out of money provided by Parliament of — (a) any expenditure of the Secretary of State —

  1. (i) in connection with the dissolution of the National Bus Company;
  2. (ii) in respect of the salaries or remuneration of traffic commissioners and persons acting as their officers and servants;
  3. (iii) in respect of the remuneration of members of the Transport Tribunal and the other expenses of the tribunal;
  4. (iv) in making grants to persons operating or proposing to operate public passenger transport services in rural areas in Great Britain; and
  5. (v) in making grants to the British Railways Board in respect of their costs in securing the provision of bus substitution services;
(b) any increase in payments out of money so provided arising from any increase in administrative expenses of the Secretary of State attributable to the provisions of that Act; and (c) any increase in payments out of money so provided under any other enactment.