HL Deb 31 July 1962 vol 243 cc206-8

After Clause 22, insert the following new clause:

Replacement of certain provisions relating to parking places on highways

("(1) For sections eighty-six and eighty-seven of the principal Act there shall be substituted the sections set out in the Schedule (Parking places on highways) to this Act.

(2) Nothing in this Act shall affect any order made by virtue of the said sections before the commencement of this Act, or the operation of those sections or of the Road Traffic and Roads Improvement Act, 1960, in relation to any order made under section eighty-five of the principal Act before the commencement of this Act, except in so far as an order under any of those sections may be varied or revoked by an order made under the sections set out in the said Schedule.")


My Lords, I think that it would be convenient if I discussed with this Amendment Nos. 32, 37, 46, 47, 52, 53, 56, 57, 64 and 65, as they all hang together. The main purposes of the new clause and Schedule are to permit a greater flexibility in fixing the charges for parking at meters; to make provision for new types of apparatus, such as parking ticket machines; to allow more flexibility in the administration of parking meter schemes; to simplify and bring together into one convenient package all the wide complicated and spread-out provisions regulating charges at meters and conditions for their use.

I am afraid that Amendment No. 37 itself is a very large piece of work, again of formidable appearance; but it is appearance, rather than anything else that is against it. When the Bill was originally introduced into your Lordships' House there were no provisions about meter parking places on the highway. Subsequently a clause was put in—(though it is now left out—to introduce flexibility into the present too rigid arrangements for charging for parking at meters, and to permit any charge to be made for any period, instead of the existing limitation to the standard period of charge, or half of it, which is the only alternative. The additional provisions which we now propose are necessary to make possible the use of new types of apparatus for controlling parking places which are likely to become available in the next few years. The most promising one of these is a ticket-issuing machine which has the advantage that one machine can serve a whole parking place containing a number of cars, instead of having, as at present, a separate meter for each one. This machine, I think, will have a rather special value in places where, for technical, amenity or æsthetic reasons, parking meters would not be suitable. It is not certain precisely how this machine would work in practice, and it is therefore not possible to lay down in the Bill, as has been done for parking meters, the precise conditions which should govern the use of it. Instead, the Minister will be given power to make orders containing such provision as he considers necessary or expedient for regulating the use for parking places, and these orders will be subject to the Negative Resolution procedure.

I think the power to make these orders is, in general terms, the new Clause 86, which lists the number of specific provisions that may be made; and these are taken, in the main, from points already covered by the I960 Act and the Road Traffic and Road Improvements Act, 1960. The detail of the change is necessarily complicated because it has to deal with complicated and detailed provisions of two previous Acts. But, broadly speaking, the substance of the matter is that it seeks to remove from legislation cumbersome and inadequate restrictions on charges in metered on-street car parks and to give the Minister power to deal with this as he thinks necessary in orders, as well as with all other matters arising in the parking places, including the type of apparatus to be used and the presumption to be made from this apparatus.

I think that not only is this extra flexibility in demand in various parts of the country where their requirements are different, but there is also a considerable difference, for instance, in demand between market towns inland and seaside places; and I think the flexibility is also reasonable because parking meters have proved their worth, and the principle of charging for the parking of cars is not quite as under suspicion as it was and is much more generally accepted. It is desirable to have this flexibility in order to facilitate the proper development and evolution of parking control so that new ideas and new techniques can be used. I think, from what I can recall of past discussions, that it accords, generally speaking, with your Lordships' views. I beg to move.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.—(Lord Chesham.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.