HL Deb 02 November 2000 vol 618 cc1189-92

(" .—(1) The Secretary of State shall undertake an annual investigation of the road haulage industry to establish industry's needs with regard to the employment and training of commercial vehicle drivers.

(2) The Secretary of State shall publish his conclusions in a report laid before Parliament 12 months after this Act comes into force and annually thereafter.

(3) The report shall cover—

  1. (a) causes of road haulage industry accidents;
  2. (b) backlog of vocational driving tests;
  3. (c) training needs in the use of information technology;
  4. (d) shortages of suitable driving and related transport instructors; and
  5. (e) shortages and quality examiners.").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, the road haulage industry in the United Kingdom is suffering severely from a lack of HGV drivers. In Committee I moved an amendment in relation to this matter. Can the Minister say whether he has any more plans to increase the availability of HGV drivers for the haulage industry? I beg to move.

Lord Whitty

My Lords, I am not sure that seeking an answer to that question required an amendment of this nature! The Road Haulage Forum, in addressing the requirements to modernise the road haulage industry, has, among other things, undertaken to look at the skills requirements in the industry, in particular driver skills. There appears to be a shortage of drivers, not because of a lack of people who have qualified at some time in their lives to be HGV drivers, but because of the terms and conditions under which they work. There is also quite an elderly age profile of active HGV drivers in the industry and not enough younger trainees coming through.

The Road Haulage and Distribution Training Council and the Driving Standards Agency are cooperating in looking at that and at the development of national occupational standards to promote a more professionally oriented lifetime-learning qualification in improvement of skills within the industry. All those things will be considered by a sub-committee of the Road Haulage Forum. They are important in addressing some of the problems in the industry to which my noble friend Lord Macdonald referred in answer to the noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw, earlier.

However, that has nothing much to do with this legislation, but I thought I owed the noble Earl an answer as he has been so co-operative in helping to take us towards the end of Report stage of this Bill before half-past seven.

Earl Attlee

My Lords, I have no idea what the noble Lord is talking about! I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Schedule 30 [Repeals and revocations]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 330 to 337:

Page 331, line 6, at end insert—
("1996 c. ix. London Local Authorities Act 1996. Part II.")
Page 331, column 3, leave out lines 7 to 9.
Page 331, line 26, at end insert—
("2000 c. vii. London Local Authorities Act 2000. Section 48. Schedule 2.")

Page 332, leave out lines 17 to 19.
Page 336, line 11, column 3, after ("Board") insert ("or any subsidiary of theirs"").
Page 338, column 3, leave out line 49 and insert—
("In section 43, subsection (11) and, in subsection (12), the words following paragraph (d).")
Page 343, line 43, at end insert—
Chapter Short title Extent of repeal
1988 c. 52. Road Traffic Act 1988. Section 89(2A) and (5A). In section 97— in subsection (3), paragraph (e) and the word "and" before it, and subsections (3A) and (3B). In section 98(3), paragraph (c) and the word "or" before it. In section 108(1), the definitions of "approved training course for motor cyclists" and "prescribed certificate of completion". In section 130— in subsection (3), the words "under this section", and in subsection (5), the words "granted under this section". Section 131(5). Schedule 3.
1989 c. 22. Road Traffic (Driver Licensing and Information Systems) Act 1989. Section 6. In Schedule 3— in paragraph 11(c), sub-paragraph (ii) and the word "and" before it, in paragraph 15, sub-paragraph (g) and the word "and" before it, and in paragraph 18, sub-paragraphs (b) and (d).
Page 344, line 16, at end insert—
("1991c. 22. New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. In section 74(4), the words "if he does so".")

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 266 [Extent]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 338 and 339: Page 166, line 29, after ("sections") insert ("(Charges for whole duration of works) and (Charges where works unreasonably prolonged),"). Page 166, line 29, after ("256") insert (", (London service permits: appeals)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Lord Rotherwick moved Amendment No. 340: Page 166, line 29, leave out ("and 258") and insert (", 258 and (Stands etc. for bicycles or motor cycles)").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 341 to 343: Page 166, line 29, leave out ("relating to Part V") and insert ("in Part V(2) of Schedule 30"). Page 166, line 31, after ("IV,") insert ("sections (Compulsory driver training courses) to (Training and instructors: minor and consequential amendments) (and Schedule (Driver training and driving instructors: minor and consequential amendments))."). Page 166, line 32, after ("257") insert (", and Part V(1) of Schedule 30,").

On Question, amendments agreed to.