§ 3.22 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.
§ THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT (LORD CHESHAM)
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(Lord Chesham.)
§ LORD MERRIVALE
My Lords, I do not propose to detain your Lordships long, or to restate the arguments I put forward on Second Reading. But I should like to take this opportunity of thanking my noble friend for his courtesy in writing to me on the subject and informing me that there was a more flexible procedure available to local authorities for dealing with the confirmation of Provisional Orders. As I understood his letter, he was referring to Orders that are unopposed—I am thinking of the Statutory Orders (Special Procedure) Act, 1945. But as the Order may be opposed by objectors to the extension of a trolley-bus route, would Her Majesty's Government seriously consider the practicability of allowing objections to be dealt with by the traffic commissioners, as is the case with regard to new bus services which are proposed, because such proposed new services are elaborately publicised?
There is no question of any interested party being unaware of a proposal to put on a new service for in all cases, without exception, the local Press publicise the fact that there is such a proposal. Then such objectors as there may be have one month in which to 783 lodge their objection to the traffic commissioners, who seem to be the right persons to handle any questions of objection to new bus services or to the extension of trolley-bus routes. I shall not talk on the technical aspect, but I mentioned that on Second Reading.
With regard to the provision allowed for under the Statutory Orders (Special Procedure) Act, 1945, the noble Lord said in his letter that only seven local authorities had applied for such a provision. Does he not feel therefore that, as the 1945 Act is applicable only where some other Act applies it, this provision is not workable; and that to be in the position to apply it may, in a number of cases, be pure coincidence? I feel that the operator of such a form of transport must in many cases go through the costly procedure which we have before us to-day, of having to go through Parliament—I do not mention all I said on Second Reading on this matter—with a view to obtaining a Provisional Order. It has been stated to me by transport managers who operate trolley-bus vehicles and also diesel vehicles that this costly procedure has a discouraging effect on the extension of such fumeless types of traction.
§ LORD CHESHAM
My Lords, I shall not detain your Lordships long, in view of what my noble friend said when I replied on Second Reading. I am bound to say that I have had some difficulty in relating the major part of the substance of what my noble friend has said to the Third Reading of this Bill, and I think perhaps it would be more convenient for all concerned if I said that I will certainly look into the points that he has raised.
§ On Question, Bill read 3a, with the Amendment, and passed, and returned to the Commons.