§ Clive Efford
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to consult on regulations enabling camera enforcement of bus lanes by local authorities outside London. 
§ Mr. Spellar
We have today published draft regulations for consultation. Copies of the consultation letter and draft regulations will be placed in the Library. The draft regulations place the liability for payment of the penalty charge where a vehicle is driven illegally in a bus lane on the registered keeper, except that where a vehicle is subject to a hire agreement, liability falls upon the person who has hired the vehicle, and where a vehicle is being kept by a motor trader who is not the vehicle's registered keeper, liability falls upon the motor trader.
During the passage of the Transport Act 2000 we indicated that it was intended, at least initially, that regulations for bus lane enforcement outside London would be made on the basis of driver liability. In preparing the draft regulations, advice was taken from a working party of local authority representatives, and from the independent adjudication services dealing with parking appeals and, in London, bus lane appeals, flowing from local authority enforcement. They made representations that pursuing the driver is not a practical option for civil enforcement of bus lane contraventions. Merit is also seen in having a civil enforcement regime for bus lane contraventions that parallels the well established owner liability regime of decriminalised parking enforcement. Therefore, we decided that the draft regulations would place liability for payment of a penalty charge on the registered keeper, subject to the aforementioned exceptions.