HC Deb 24 May 1993 vol 225 cc721-3

'.—(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for and in connection with—

  1. (a) the imposition of requirements on persons travelling by, present on, or leaving trains or stations to produce, if required to do so in accordance with the regulations, a ticket or other authority authorising them to travel by, be present on, or leave the train or station in question; and
  2. (b) the charging of persons in breach of such requirements to financial penalties (in this section referred to as "penalty fares") in such circumstances, and subject to compliance with such conditions (if any), as may be prescribed;
and in this section any reference to a ticket or other authority of any description includes a reference to any other document which, under the regulations, is required to be produced in conjunction with any such ticket or other authority, for the purpose of demonstrating that the ticket or other authority produced by a person is valid in his case.

(2) Regulations may make provision for or with respect to—

  1. (a) the persons who may be charged penalty fares;
  2. (b) the persons by or on behalf of whom penalty fares may be charged;
  3. (c) the trains and stations by reference to which penalty fares may be charged;
  4. (d) the amount, or the greatest amount, which a person may be charged by way of penalty fare, whether a specified amount or one determined in a prescribed manner;
  5. (e) the authorising of persons to be collectors;
  6. (f) the manner in which charges to penalty fares may be imposed by collectors, including any requirements to be complied with by or in relation to collectors;
  7. (g) the authorising of collectors in prescribed circumstances to require persons on trains or stations to furnish prescribed information;
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  9. (h) the display of prescribed notices in places of a prescribed description;
  10. (j) the manner in which, and the period within which, any penalty fare charged to a person is to be paid;
  11. (k) the issue of prescribed documents to persons who are charged, or who have paid, penalty fares;
  12. (l) the recovery of any unpaid penalty fare as a civil debt, including provision—
    1. (i) for or with respect to defences that are to be available in proceedings for the recovery of an unpaid penalty fare; or
    2. (ii) for presumptions of fact to operate, in such proceedings, in favour of the person charged with the penalty fare, but subject to compliance with prescribed procedural requirements;
  13. (m) the retention, by persons by or on behalf of whom charges to penalty fares are imposed, of sums paid by way of penalty fare;
  14. (n) the remission of liability to pay penalty fares and the repayment of sums paid by way of penalty fare;
  15. (o) the prevention of a person's being liable both to payment of a penalty fare and to prosecution for a prescribed offence:
  16. (p) the imposition of prohibitions on the charging of penalty fares by or on behalf of persons who are suspected by the Secretary of State or the Regulator, on reasonable grounds, of failing to comply with such requirements imposed by or under the regulations as may be prescribed.

(3) The documents mentioned in subsection (2)(k) above include any document which consists of or includes—

  1. (a) notice of the imposition of a charge to a penalty fare;
  2. (b) a receipt for the payment of a penalty fare; or
  3. (c) a ticket or other authority to travel by, he present on, or leave a train or station.

(4) Regulations may impose, or make provision for and in connection with the imposition or enforcement of, prescribed requirements in prescribed circumstances on or against a holder of a passenger licence or station licence or a passenger service operator (whether or not one by or on behalf of whom penalty fares are or are to be charged); and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, any such regulations may make provision with respect to—

  1. (a) the display of notices relating to penalty fares;
  2. (b) the provision of facilities for the issue of tickets or other authorities to travel by, be present on, or leave trains or stations;
  3. (c) the provision of information to prescribed persons or persons of a prescribed class or description.

(5) The functions which may be conferred on the Regulator by regulations include—

  1. (a) functions which involve the exercise by him of judgment or a discretion; and
  2. (b) functions which empower him in prescribed circumstances to impose such conditions or requirements as he may think fit on prescribed persons or on persons of a prescribed class or description.

(6) Regulations may confer power on the Regulator to make by rules any provision which could be made by the Secretary of State by regulations, other than provision for or with respect to any matter specified in—

  1. (a) paragraph (d), (l) or (o) of subsection (2) above; or (b) subsection (7) below;
and any such rules shall have effect, to such extent as may be prescribed, as if they were regulations.

(7) Regulations may provide that where information is required to be furnished pursuant to the regulations—

  1. (a) a refusal to furnish any such information, or
  2. (b) the furnishing of information which is false in a material particular,
shall, in prescribed circumstances, be an offence punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale.

(8) Apart from subsection (7) above, nothing in this section creates, or authorises the creation of, any offence.

(9) Regulations may make provision for any area within Great Britain and may make different provision for or in relation to different areas.

(10) Any power of the Regulator to make rules under or by virtue of this section includes power to revoke, amend or re-enact any rules so made; and—

  1. (a) any such rules may make different provision for different cases; and
  2. (b) without prejudice to paragraph (a) above, subsection (9) above shall apply in relation to any such rules as it applies in relation to regulations.

(11) Subsections (2) to (5) above are without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above.

(12) In this section—

and, subject to that, expressions used in Part I above and in this section have the same meaning in this section as they have in that Part.'.—[Mr. Norris.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the clause be read a Second time.—[Mr. Norris.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Dr. Marek.

Hon. Members

Oh no!

Dr. Marek

It is all right Government Members moaning. I have been sitting quietly here listening to an interesting debate, but one that took time.

Where a ticket is not available at a station because the ticket office is closed, will there be strict conditions to ensure that—in any zone or other area where a penalty fare may be imposed on a passenger travelling without a ticket—a machine in working order will be in operation to issue an authority to travel? If such an authority is issued, can the passenger be certain of not being refused a discounted or any other ticket that might have been available at the station, had the station ticket office been open? If the Minister can give categorical assurances on those two points, we can deal with the amendment quickly.

The Minister for Transport in London (Mr. Steve Norris)

I think that I can give the hon. Gentleman the assurances that he seeks.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

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