HC Deb 11 April 1963 vol 675 cc209-11W
Mr. Awdry

asked the Minister of Transport what arrangements he has

Mr. Noble,

pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, 10th April, 1963; Vol. 675, c. 166], circulated the following detailed information:

approved for the delegation of functions by the British Railways Board to regional Railway Boards.

Mr. Marples

Under the terms of Section 2 of the Transport Act, 1962, the British Railways Board is required, in determining the functions to be delegated to Regional Railway Boards established under that Section as respects the parts of the national railway system for which the Regional Boards are to be responsible, to act on lines settled from time to time with my approval. It accordingly submitted to me proposals covering these matters which I approved in accordance with Section 2(4) of the Act. The proposals, which provide also for the assumption by the Regional Boards of responsibility for certain associated matters, are as follows:

  1. 1. To permit the Railways Board to discharge their own responsibilities under the Act and to enable the Regional Railway Boards, in the management of the railways within their Regions, to concentrate upon their principal tasks of commercial management and efficient operating, it is proposed that the Railways Board shall, in particular, reserve to themselves and shall not delegate to Regional Railway Boards the following functions:—
    1. (a) Negotiations at national level relating to pay and conditions of staff.
    2. (b) Overall control of finance and investment.
    3. (c) Matters relating to the determination of the future size, shape and nature of the national railway system.
    4. (d) Major questions of commercial policy and practice.
    5. (e) Purchase of certain stores and equipment.
    6. 211
    7. (f) Appointments and salary ranges of senior staff.
    8. (g) The design, procurement, allocation and overall control of rolling stock and ship.
    9. (h) Standards of design and maintenance of track and structures, buildings, and signal and electric traction equipment.
    10. (i) The control of railway main workshops.
    11. (j) Broad policies relating to training and safety.
    12. (k) Research and development.
    13. (l) Seaworthiness of ships and saftety of life at sea.
    14. (m) Policy relating to the development of property.
  2. 2. The Railways Board intend to exercise these functions through their various functional Members, each of whom will act on behalf of the Railways Board in his dealings with the Regional Boards.
  3. 3. Within such limits of authority as are set by the Railways Board it will be the responsibility of each Regional Railway Board:
    1. (a) to give effect to the policies and directions of the Railways Board and to supply such information as the Railways Board may from time to time require;
    2. (b) to manage the railways within the Region and any transport services associated with them for the carriage of goods or passengers by road;
    3. (c) to manage the shipping services and packet ports vesting in the Railways Board and directly associated with the Region, and to co-operate with the Shipping Companies owned by the Board which operate services associated with the Region;
    4. (d) to supervise the safety, health and welfare of employees of the Railways Board within the Region.
  4. 4. In addition to the foregoing, the following powers will be delegated to Regional Railway Boards within financial limits to be approved from time to time by the Railways Board:
    1. (a) authorisation of expenditure on works and equipment proposals;
    2. (b) purchase of certain equipment and stores;
    3. (c) placing of contracts;
    4. (d) authorisation of property transactions;
    5. (e) establishment and staff matters.
  5. 5. The functions and powers delegated by the Railways Board to Regional Railway Boards will be exercised by the latter in the name of the Railways Board and differences between Regional Boards will be referred to the Railways Board for settlement.

I understand that letters of delegation based on these proposals have been sent to the Regional Railway Boards.

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