§ 2.38 p.m.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT (LORD LINDGREN)
My Lords, with your Lordships' permission, I should like to explain a little more fully a point I made last night, on which I may have given a 594 wrong impression. I was dealing with fears expressed by the noble Duke, the Duke of Devonshire, that people who lived in London might find themselves unable to own cars as a result of the various measures announced by my right honourable friend in another place last week.
What I said may have given the impression that various forms of ban or restriction had already been decided upon by the Government. This is not so. The only measure the Government have decided upon in principle at this stage is the new policy on parking in Central London. Even that must, as my right honourable friend explained, be worked out in practical detail with the Greater London Council and the other local authorities concerned. Other measures of restriction—for example, some form of licensing—are still under consideration and no decisions have been made. What I wanted to make very clear was that the Government had no intention of restricting the ownership of cars in Central London, or their use in ways or at times that do not contribute to congestion.
What we are aiming to do is to restrict those who cause congestion—and this means particularly the daily commuters. There is no question of singling out residents in London for restriction unless they contribute to congestion like other commuters. In any measures that the Government propose every effort will be made to take account of the special circumstances of residents. And I am sure that the Greater London Council and the London Boroughs will also have their needs in mind.
§ LORD CARRINGTON
My Lords, perhaps the noble Lord will allow me to ask the noble Earl the Leader of the House whether it is not the custom, when explanations of this sort are given, that there is no comment and no debate.
§ THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (THE EARL OF LONGFORD)
My Lords, there are many uncertainties about the customs of the House, but there is no uncertainty about this one.