§ [No. 88]
Clause 123, pane 165, line 35, leave out "paragraphs" and insert "paragraph—
(d) provided that adequate provision for off-street parking facilities in each local authority area has been made then such surplus may be applied to—
§ The Commons disagreed to this Amendment but proposed the following Amendment in lieu:
§ [No. 89]
Page 165, line 35, leave out "paragraphs:(d)" and insert paragraph—
(d) if it appears to the local authority that the provision in their area of further parking accommodation for vehicles otherwise than on highways is for the time being unnecessary or undesirable, the following purposes, namely—
§ LORD WINTERBOTTOM
My Lords, with the agreement of the House I will take at the same time Amendments Nos. 88 and 89. I beg to move that this House doth not insist on its Amendment No. 88 to which the Commons have disagreed, and do agree with the Commons 1525 in their Amendment No. 89 in lieu. Clause 123(6) amends Section 44(3) of the Road Transport Regulation Act 1967 by introducing two further purposes for which surplus parking meter revenue may be expended, in addition to the main purpose of building or maintaining off-street parking places. These extra purposes, in brief, are the provision of public transport services or facilities and road improvements, including traffic management measures.
The House will recall that at Committee stage the Amendment in the name of Lord Nugent was passed which introduced a proviso into Section 44(3) of the Road Transport Regulation Act 1967. This proviso reads:Provided that adequate provision for off-street parking facilities in each local authority area has been made then such surplus may be applied tothe two new purposes detailed above. The Government's view is that it would be wrong to give absolute priority to car park investment in this way. It is a cardinal principle that the amount of off-street parking space should be geared to the capacity of the access roads, otherwise the provision of large numbers of off-street parking places will only lead to congestion on the roads in the area. Circumstances could therefore arise when it would be wrong for a town to build more car parks, at least for the time being, and the Government want to give local authorities more flexibility in deciding how to spend surplus parking meter revenue.
However, the Government accept the spirit of the Amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Nugent, in the sense that it is reasonable that a local authority should pay attention to its car park needs when considering what to do with any surplus parking meter revenue. Accordingly, the Government proposed in another place the alternative Amendment on the Marshalled List which leaves it to the local authority to be the judge of whether or not surplus revenue should be used for further off-street parking facilities in its area. This puts the responsibility squarely where we believe it should be.
The Government Amendment in lieu was welcomed, I believe, by the Opposition in another place. For this reason I commend it to the House.
§ Moved, That this House doth no insist on its Amendment No. 88 to which the Commons have disagreed; and that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 89 in lieu of the Lords Amendment No. 88.— (Lord Winterbottom.)
§ LORD NUGENT OF GUILDFORD
My Lords, I thank the noble Lord. Lord Winterbottom, for explaining the Government's view on disagreeing with our Amendment and inserting their Amendment, and I recognise that this goes a long way to giving what is wanted. It gives the local authority discretion as to how it will spend its parking meter revenue, and allows it to spend it for the purpose of providing off-street car parks. It does not quite fulfil what we on this side feel is the obligation of the Government of the day. We gave a specific undertaking that these revenues would be devoted to off-street car parks. Great store was set on that undertaking by the motoring organisation and others. For that reason we felt that it was preferable that the Government of to-day should accept that obligation and should fulfil it. However, we must again be thankful for small mercies. The noble Lord has come some way to meet us here. This will leave it to local authorities who, in most cases, I daresay will do why we want. At any rate, they will be subject to the representations of local opinion, and if that is the local wish no doubt they will accede to it. I feel that we have been given something here. I thank the noble Lord, and for this reason we shall agree to the Amendment.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.