There have been 32 exchanges between Lord Rosser and Baroness Sugg
|1||Tue 26th February 2019||
HS2: Electricity Supply
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (248 words)|
|2||Mon 25th February 2019||
Air Traffic Management (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019
Department for Transport
|5 interactions (1,826 words)|
|3||Mon 25th February 2019||
Aviation Security (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (1,454 words)|
|4||Wed 20th February 2019||
Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019
Department for Transport
|2 interactions (729 words)|
|5||Wed 20th February 2019||
Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019
Department for Transport
|2 interactions (1,268 words)|
|6||Wed 20th February 2019||
Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019
Department for Transport
|9 interactions (1,617 words)|
|7||Wed 20th February 2019||
Road Vehicles and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Type-Approval) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (637 words)|
|8||Wed 13th February 2019||
Commercial Air Routes: United Kingdom and East Africa
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (271 words)|
|9||Mon 11th February 2019||
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (1,214 words)|
|10||Wed 6th February 2019||
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (293 words)|
|11||Wed 21st November 2018||
Operation of Air Services (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
Department for Transport
|6 interactions (602 words)|
|12||Tue 6th November 2018||
International Road Transport Permits (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
Department for Transport
|2 interactions (1,132 words)|
|13||Tue 30th October 2018||
Railways: East Coast Main Line
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (386 words)|
|14||Mon 29th October 2018||
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (281 words)|
|15||Wed 24th October 2018||
Civil Aviation (Insurance) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (738 words)|
|16||Wed 17th October 2018||
Department for Transport (Fees) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
Department for Transport
|10 interactions (2,325 words)|
|17||Wed 11th July 2018||
Railways: Train Timetables
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (255 words)|
|18||Mon 9th July 2018||
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (272 words)|
|19||Tue 3rd July 2018||
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (642 words)|
|20||Wed 10th January 2018||
Local Congestion: Investment
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (242 words)|
|21||Tue 9th January 2018||
Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill [HL]
Department for Transport
|6 interactions (3,903 words)|
|22||Wed 20th December 2017||
Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (Science and Technology Report)
Department for Transport
|2 interactions (2,560 words)|
|23||Mon 18th December 2017||
Sub-national Transport Body (Transport for the North) Regulations 2017
Department for Transport
|6 interactions (2,126 words)|
|24||Tue 12th December 2017||
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (301 words)|
|25||Wed 29th November 2017||
Department for Transport
|2 interactions (2,514 words)|
|26||Tue 28th November 2017||
Space Industry Bill [HL]
Department for Transport
|5 interactions (858 words)|
|27||Tue 21st November 2017||
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (149 words)|
|28||Mon 20th November 2017||
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (226 words)|
|29||Thu 16th November 2017||
HS2: Economic and Environmental Impact
Department for Transport
|2 interactions (2,938 words)|
|30||Tue 14th November 2017||
Space Industry Bill [HL]
Department for Transport
|34 interactions (5,437 words)|
|31||Mon 13th November 2017||
Road Safety: Hand-held Devices
Department for Transport
|3 interactions (286 words)|
|32||Tue 31st October 2017||
Department for Transport
|2 interactions (2,551 words)|
I thank my noble friend for his question and I share his desire to ensure good value for money for taxpayers and indeed passengers. The advice given in the KPMG report is that while the wholesale price for electricity is forecast to increase over the long term, the price of renewable energy is coming down, so it recommended signing a long-term contract for the supply of renewable electricity. I should reiterate that the report represents only advice to HS2. No decision has been made and, before any contract is signed, HS2 will need to present the proposed energy strategy to the DfT. Whatever strategy is agreed, HS2 Ltd will be required to demonstrate that it has complied with the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016.
My Lords, we have had to take some difficult decisions on electrification, which we are bringing forward where it is in the interests of passengers. I confirm that we are absolutely committed to continuing HS2 north of Birmingham. It is going to bring great connectivity to our great cities of the north.
I thank noble Lords for their consideration of these draft regulations and turn to some of the questions raised. On participation in the UK-Ireland functional airspace block—the FAB—it is currently the only FAB we are part of but, in the event of no deal, there would be no legal basis for the UK to continue to participate in it. Nor could we compel Ireland to be part of it, so we have not been able to retain this part of the single European sky legislation in the SI. There is a possibility that EU states could involve neighbouring third countries in their functional airspace blocks and future UK involvement as a third country would be discretionary.
Co-ordination and co-operation with Ireland will of course continue, as both states are members of the international inter-government organisation Eurocontrol and, indeed, ICAO; both the UK and Ireland are delegated by ICAO to provide air traffic services in parts of the north Atlantic. The noble Baroness is quite right to point out that 80% of traffic entering or leaving the EU from the north Atlantic flies through that airspace, so it is imperative that we work together on this.
Break in Debate
I am afraid that I do not have a specific figure. Future funding is under consideration as part of our wider airspace modernisation project. That will be looked at through the CAA, which has a contingency fund for airspace modernisation costs, including the deployment of new technology.
It is important to reiterate that the safety of airspace will not be jeopardised after we leave the EU. This SI, along with the aviation safety SI which has been laid and will be debated in the coming weeks, will ensure that we have the same high safety standards. Air traffic controllers will continue to be licensed by the CAA and relevant EASA regulations will be saved in national law to ensure that those safety standards remain.
On the pilot common project, UK industry has been involved in the governance to shape the scale and costs of SESAR deployment projects. The future deployment of new technology would need UK legislation under the Civil Aviation Act 1982.
The noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, asked about military and commercial use. The military is excluded from the single European sky legislation. The flexible use of airspace is about using airspace reserved for the military when the military does not need to use it. It is not strictly about regulating the military, as such, but rules will be transferred into UK law through the statutory instrument which will continue to oversee them.
NATS is currently the UK’s en route air navigation services provider and will continue in that role; there will be no difference. On the question of what will replace the SESAR programme when the UK leaves the EU, the level of participation in SESAR remains a matter for negotiation. We firmly believe that it is in the best interests of the UK and indeed of the EU to maintain close co-operation, but it is likely that UK industry will no longer be able to receive EU funding for SESAR deployment. As I said, the Government have committed to cover the costs of that.
I hope that I have answered all the questions. If I have missed any, I will follow up in writing. This SI, and others to be debated in the coming weeks, are a key part of ensuring that we have a functioning statute book for aviation should we leave the European Union without a deal. It will make sure that, in the event of no deal, the UK has effective regulatory arrangements for our air traffic management system, and that the aviation industry, the CAA and NATS, have clarity about the regulatory framework.
I am not able to give the noble Lord that reassurance as we are not sure how EU regulations will develop. However, we are of course committed to maintaining our high security record. As has been mentioned, we already have more stringent measures and that will continue.
On the more stringent measures and the Commission decision, the Aviation Security Act gives the Secretary of State powers to give directions to or serve notices on specified parties—for example, directly to air carriers or airports—for the purpose of discharging his aviation security responsibilities. The single consolidated direction is a compilation of the various directions and, after the UK exits from the EU, the single consolidated direction will continue to refer to the retained EU legislation, supplemented already, as I have said, by the more stringent measures. This is essential to maintaining our existing aviation standards, which will be continually assessed and modified, where necessary, to reflect the current threat picture.
The single consolidated direction will also be used to set out the content of the Commission decision, and the content decision will continue not to be published. The information was not published before and will not be published in the future. I understand the noble Lord’s concerns about that but, obviously, if more details were out there on the specifics of what was needed for aviation security that would put us at risk—for example, the specifications of screening equipment, the volume of detection, the criteria for the random testing of airport supplies, details of the exact screening requirements such as what percentage of passengers are checked, and the green list for aviation security. There is no change in this.
That would be a new development. As I say, the SI ensures that we continue what we have done previously. However, I will take back the noble Lord’s suggestion to consider whether in the future we could do that.
The noble Lord, Lord Rosser, also asked who will be inspecting the CAA, the Secretary of State and airports after exit day. We will continue to maintain our high standards. We will be part of the ICAO and may have EU inspections for one-stop security purposes. This country has an excellent record of aviation security and will continue to have it after we leave the European Union.
The noble Lord, Lord Rosser, asked about derogation from standards. Some small airports and demarcated areas within airports already have some derogation. That is what we are carrying over. There are no plans to ask for additional derogations.
On civil aviation security equipment manufacturers, the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, asked about standards. I point to the European Civil Aviation Conference which, despite its name, is a branch of the International Civil Aviation Organisation and is made up of 44 member states. We will continue to play an active role in ECAC after Brexit and that will include contributing to the development of improved standards on security equipment. ECAC also undertakes testing of aviation security equipment to certify that it meets the required standards. We will maintain that relationship. Any international manufacturer producing such equipment can submit it to ECAC for testing and certification and that is the standard we will continue to use. There should not therefore be any other barriers to UK manufacturers supplying EU airports post EU exit.
On ACC3—this is an important part of the SI—I say to the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, it is not our choice that we will no longer be part of this scheme. It is an impact of leaving the European Union without a deal. The scheme is open only to member states and. if we leave without a deal, we will no longer be a member state. This is not a policy choice that we are taking; it is an effect of us leaving if we leave without a deal. That is why we have had to bring in a new system.
We want to minimise disruption and additional burdens on industry while maintaining our standards. That is why we have the new UK ACC3 designation and that will be issued to all carriers and the supply chains which currently hold the EU designation. We have consulted carefully on this and, prior to leaving, the CAA will formally confirm the new UK ACC3 designations for carriers and that will be reflected in the UK ACC3 database. However, as the noble Baroness pointed out, this is a moving feast. There will be new cargo flights for existing designations and, when they are due for renewal, carriers in that instance will have to apply directly to the UK for the new ACC3 designation. In order to manage the new regime we will need to maintain a record of all granted designations. In a no deal scenario, we will lose access to the EU database that forms the backbone of the EU ACC3, comprising the approved carriers, the entities and the validators. We will need a new system and that is what we have set up. However, we will ensure that that continues to maintain our high security standards and minimises disruption.
In the current system, to which the noble Lord referred, the UK has a responsibility for designating certain destinations to form part of the EU system. That will also be removed and the EU will take on that role.
On compliance and inspection of airports, as I mentioned earlier, the EU has said that it will recognise one-stop security and we expect some EU inspections in the future. However, domestic aviation security compliance is already managed by the CAA and will continue to be so after exit day.
The noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, raised the important issue of costs. As the basic aviation security requirements will not change, any costs to the industry will be minimal. There will be modest administrative costs to air carriers on expiry of their existing designations because of the change in the ACC3 system. We have aimed to minimise additional costs. The evidence required for both systems will remain the same, so carriers should be able to pay for a single independent validation report and submit it to both the UK and EU authorities. There is no direct charge to carriers applying for an EU ACC3 designation and the CAA will not impose a direct charge on that either. I agree with the noble Lord that it would be easier to stay with the same system but, as I say, it is a consequence of leaving with no deal.
On the question of the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, about how the current system on costs works, the current regulations allow member states to decide how to allocate the costs of aviation security, subject to the relevant rules of Community law. That means that member states do it differently. There are some that use central funding for it. In the UK currently we have the user-pays principle: the costs are borne by the airline and the airports and ultimately passed on to the consumer. Industry meets those costs by virtue of the charging system under Section 11 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982, and that arrangement is expected to continue after we leave.
On the cost to government, another point raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, the CAA already has the expertise to assess applications for cargo security designations under what it does in the EU system and it is making appropriate contingency preparations to deliver continuity under that scheme. It has incurred a one-off cost in developing the new database to assist in administration. That cost is around £150,000 and will be funded out of the CAA EU exit programme contingency fund provided by the Department for Transport. There may also be a modest increase in CAA resources required to administer the system in the future. We expect that to be around two full-time posts a year.
I hope that I have answered the majority of the questions. If I have missed any I will follow up in writing. As I have said, delivering a negotiated deal remains our top priority. This SI makes it clear what the benefits of delivering a deal will be and what the implementation period will be. However, in the event of no deal, it is essential to ensure that a crucial part of the regulatory framework for civil aviation continues to work effectively after exit day and that passengers continue to benefit from the level of security we see today.
I thank noble Lords for their consideration of the final regulations of this evening. International conventions require each flag state administration to approve marine equipment, and once we have left the EU it would not be appropriate for the UK to fulfil its international obligations through an EU system that we can no longer influence. That is why we are setting up the UK system. It will allow the 10 UK-based conformity assessment bodies to continue offering services to the UK market. If we allowed only EU-approved equipment, those bodies would be in the strange position of having to relocate to the EU to provide to the UK market.
We understand that we need to ensure that the UK bodies can continue to offer EU-approved equipment. The new regulations apply both to existing ships and new ships, which will all be able to use either EU-approved equipment or UK-approved equipment. That does not have a time limit currently. The Government will consider whether we should move towards the UK system, but that would be done only after very careful consideration and consultation with the industry.
There will be no reduction in standards under the regulations. As I said in my opening statement, they retain the existing international standards set at IMO level, and that is what we will stick to. They apply the same familiar process and procedures to marine equipment approvals, to minimise disruption to industry. As the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, noted, some of the 10 UK-based EU-notified bodies have a global client base—and long may that continue. They are global operations and have offices internationally. We anticipate that some of the UK-based notified bodies with offices in the EU will make contingency plans to enable them to maintain their EU-notified body status, but we have no information about any of the UK-based notified bodies moving there. These are global companies that provide to a global market, and we expect them to be able to continue to do so.
Both the EU system and the new UK system are established on IMO standards, so manufacturers do not need to produce to two standards. A UK manufacturer may maintain its existing EU approval and keep EU market access, while also maintaining UK market access.
No formal consultation has been done on this instrument, but the MCA and the department regularly meet the assessment bodies and the manufacturers. Both groups recognise that the regulations are needed to maintain the status quo, and I am pleased to be able to say to the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, on our final SI this evening, that both the UK Chamber of Shipping and Nautilus, the seafarers union, are participants in the MCA industry committees, and have been consulted. These meetings occur very frequently, every three to six months.
This statutory instrument is necessary: if the House does not approve it, there will be no legal basis for UK notified bodies to continue operating in the country. The companies and those who work for them would therefore face uncertainty. If this SI were not approved, we would not be able to accept equipment from the EU or investigate non-compliance. So it is essential. We have not carried out a full impact assessment of the regulations because their purpose, intent and real-world effect is to do everything possible to minimise cost and disruption. Noble Lords should be aware that the impacts and costs to business of not making these regulations would be significantly higher—as I said, it would lead to uncertainty.
I hope that I have managed to address the points that have been raised. I thank all noble Lords who contributed to the transport SI debates. I am genuinely grateful for their scrutiny; these are important pieces of secondary legislation, and the House is certainly doing its job in scrutinising them. Marine equipment approvals are, of course, vital to ensuring the safety of those on board ships and the protection of the marine environment. I hope that noble Lords will agree that this SI is essential to ensure that the legislation on marine equipment approvals will continue to work effectively in the UK in the event of no deal.
I thank noble Lords for their consideration of these draft regulations. I start by saying that this is not a situation the Government want to be in. We do not want no deal; we are working very hard to achieve a deal. We do not want to be in a situation where visiting victims provisions are no longer available to UK residents injured in the EEA. That is why we are trying to achieve a deal with the European Union, which is something that I hope will happen very soon. The removal of the visiting victims obligation in respect of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau would be a sensible approach in the event of no deal. It will ensure that the insurance industry and, ultimately, people who pay for insurance documents are not hit with an extra cost—the burden would ultimately fall upon UK motorists.
In response to the specific questions raised, as I acknowledged in my opening speech, this SI was upgraded from negative to affirmative. It did not contain provisions falling within paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 7 to the withdrawal Act, requiring it to be made under the affirmative procedure, but we understand why the committee was concerned and we are happy to relay it in the affirmative procedure.
On consultation, I can confirm that, yes, we speak to the RAC, the AA, personal injury lawyers, the insurance industry, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, the Financial Conduct Authority and consumer organisations. It may be helpful to reiterate that, in the event of no deal, the motor insurance directive, which facilitates the visiting victims scheme, will no longer apply. A decision therefore had to be made because that would mean that the MIB would continue to compensate UK residents injured in the EEA without the ability to claim reimbursement from its foreign counterparts.
Also, the MIB would have to pay for claims made by EU 27 visitors injured in the UK, without UK visitors to the EU benefiting from those same benefits. Ultimately, this could mean that UK motorists in insurance schemes are paying, without any reciprocity, for EU 27 visitors injured in the UK. As I said, we would like to continue being part of the reciprocal scheme but, by leaving the EU, we will no longer be part of the motor insurance directive and will not be able to do so. I reiterate that this does not mean that UK residents will not receive compensation. They will still be entitled to compensation, although, as the noble Baroness pointed out, this will have to be claimed in the country where the accident happened, which will lead to additional complexities and costs.
I will go through it in detail. A number of the provisions and offences in Part VI of the Transport Act are being amended to ensure that the AETR is fully applied in the UK, as I mentioned earlier. The existing measures, which make provision in relation to the EU regulation, are amended so as also to refer to the AETR provision: Section 96, which contains the offences of non-compliance with the EU and AETR drivers’ rules; Section 97C, which requires drivers to provide tachograph records to employers; Section 97G, which requires operators to ensure the data is downloaded from tachographs; Section 97H, which requires the production to an officer of downloaded tachograph data; and Section 99ZE, which prohibits the creation of false tachograph records and data. Those are the criminal offences being amended to make sure they are in line with the AETR rules.
I was just coming on to those new offences. The new criminal offences are all under the Transport Act. The first is the failure to install or use a tachograph in accordance with the AETR requirements for in-scope vehicles. The second, in Section 97ZB, is the supply of tachograph equipment that has not been or is no longer type-approved by the relevant authorities. The final new offence, in Section 97ZC, is the failure by a tachograph manufacturer to inform the Secretary of State of known security vulnerabilities in its product. As I said, in particular the provisions around the AETR agreement will be increasingly important as this international agreement takes the place of the existing EU regulations. In the course of the legal analysis work to prepare this EU exit SI, these were the new criminal offences identified as needed. It is particularly important to make sure that the AETR regulatory regime is fully functioning for exit day.
The necessary legal amendments do not modify the substantive regulatory obligations placed on drivers and operators subject to the rules. In the event of a deal, as set out in the draft political declaration, for road transport the UK and the EU intend to develop market access arrangements underpinned by appropriate common standards, including driving time limits. Obviously, that is where we hope to get to, but in the event of us leaving without a deal these regulations are needed. I beg to move.
Break in Debate
I thank noble Lords for their consideration of these draft regulations, and I shall turn to the points raised.
The need for these regulations is incredibly important. On the market access regulations, which the noble Baroness referred to, the international access to the EU for the UK—if there is a no-deal Brexit—would be jeopardised without them. The regulation on the haulage market access currently being discussed envisages the continuation of equivalent rules for drivers’ hours and tachographs and includes draft provisions to reduce or terminate market access without those equivalent provisions, so they are important. Even under the limited access provided by ECMT permits, we also need to adhere to the international standards.
On enforcement, parts of the tachograph rules and the current regime of drivers’ hours offences in the UK would not continue to be enforceable in respect of much of the commercial road transport in the UK. Some of these breaches of the rules are incredibly serious, including the fraudulent manipulation of tachographs, so the rules are important to public safety.
On new powers, in many cases the reference to the Secretary of State is a technical change, but the Secretary of State will have some regulation-making powers, and they are exercisable by negative procedure to replace the Commission’s secondary legislation-making powers. At present, such legislation made by the Commission flows through to the UK automatically as directly applicable EU law. The regulation-making powers are transferred to the Secretary of State in relation to authorising exemptions from driver rules for transport operations carried out in exceptional circumstances, which the noble Baroness referred to. Procedures for field tests of tachograph equipment, setting out standardised reporting forms and specifying the content of the training of control officers, and setting out the technical specifications for tachograph equipment are subject to the negative procedure, due to the nature of the amendments which they would make. They are very specific and technical or apply to exceptional circumstances where we need a swift response. It would only be possible to modify the core regulatory obligations, such as maximum driving times and the requirement to install a tachograph, through primary legislation.
The costs on business will not change as a result of these regulations. The effect of the rules will be the same: behaviours which are legal will continue to be allowed, and behaviours which are illegal will continue to be prohibited. The regulations will enable the enforcement of the rules by the DVSA and the police to continue as at present.
On information exchange, which the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, raised, the provisions are revoked because they relate to co-operation which, in the event of no deal, we sadly cannot guarantee. We would hope, none the less, to be in a position to continue to co-operate with the EU in relation to this sector. That is not an agreement we have reached yet, and we would not be party, for example, to the European Register of Road Transport Undertakings, which is the data exchange on violators, as we would no longer be a member of the EU, but that information flow is important and we would like to see it even in the event of no deal.
This would not affect the enforcement sanctions available. Regardless of Brexit, we are targeting enforcement resources towards offences such as tachograph manipulation, and enforcement against non-UK established hauliers and drivers, which includes the immobilisation of vehicles and fixed penalty notices, is not affected by the regulation or Brexit. We will continue to participate in Euro Contrôle Route, which is not an EU body and is not restricted to EU countries’ enforcement agencies. That organisation is focused on practical law enforcement collaboration and enables the exchanges of good practice.
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No, I did not mean to say that. As I said, there will be no change for drivers from these regulations; the rules will stay the same. The EU rules are the same as the AETR rules.
The noble Lord, Lord Adonis, asked questions on divergence. We are not committing to following the EU rules. In the future, the Government will consider on a case-by-case basis how the UK might choose to respond to any changes in EU regulations. These regulations do not oblige the Government to remain aligned to the EU rules, but they do oblige the UK to remain aligned to the AETR rules. We are a contracting party to the AETR, and those wider international rules will underpin all transport operations between the UK and the EU after exit. At present, the AETR is aligned to the EU rules: the rules on driving time, rest time and requirements for the use and installation of tachographs are the same.
By leaving the European Union through the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, we will take EU legislation on to our statute book. So we are carefully looking at that legislation to make sure that it functions in the best way for us. As I said, this is not intended to make policy changes and is intended to remain aligned with existing standards. But there are more than 3,700 pages of type approvals, and we want to make sure that they function correctly on our statute book. That is a significant piece of work, which we will be doing alongside a formal consultation to make sure that this continues to function.
The consultation on type approval was conducted by discussions and working groups, largely through the main UK trade bodies covering the various categories of vehicle that require type approval. We have had a range of meetings that included members of the SMMT, the Motorcycle Industry Association and the Agricultural Engineers Association. Through these meetings, we refined our proposals and addressed sector-specific issues as well as informing people what is expected in a no deal scenario. Obviously, we have also spoken to the European trade associations.
I am afraid that I do not have an answer on trade unions; I shall have to get back to the noble Lord on that.
The organisations we consulted do not wish for no deal—I should be very clear on that—but we are attempting a pragmatic approach to make sure that we continue trade with the EU should we have a no-deal exit. They are supportive of the proposals. The SMMT told the Lords Select Committee on the EU Internal Market that the department had put in place a system of temporary type approval, initially, which is probably as sensible as we can have during the interim period. The Motorcycle Industry Association confirmed that it had no immediate concern with the proposed text, which it expects to alleviate some of the short-term pressures on manufacturers and importers arising from the UK leaving the European Union without a deal. So I think that it is fair to say that industry does not want no deal but, in the event of no deal, it accepts that this interim measure is the right way forward. We published our technical notice of the changes to type approval last September.
On the question of the cost of type approval asked by the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, the total cost to manufacturers of provisional approval is estimated to be around £800,000. That includes their internal administration costs and familiarisation costs. Normally, to obtain type approval for a single model costs at least £250,000, including the hire of test facilities, internal costs and fees to the VCA. It takes the VCA a couple of hours to prepare a UK approval following an application. As noble Lords would expect, the VCA has engaged extensively with industry and is well placed to issue provisional UK approvals. It has recruited additional temporary staff to manage the additional workload. So far, it has taken on 23 additional staff and is on target to have 40 in place by mid-March. The assessment found an estimated annual cost of the VCA of £800,000 per year, which would be recovered from manufacturers—so, combined with the administrative costs of using the scheme, the estimated total cost to business is £1.6 million per year.
Yes, we will. The current slot regime allows for new entrants. The regulations require 50% of available slots to be given to new entrants. The main issue is that there are not very many slots available. This is why we need expansion. There will be more slots available with expansion and with other airports making better use of their existing capacity. Our aim in looking at the slot allocation regime is to ensure competition, which will ultimately benefit the consumer.
My Lords, we aim to increase our connectivity across the globe. We have a very experienced team of air services negotiators in our department who work across the world to deliver new air services agreements. Our current approach is to favour as much liberalisation as possible, providing it is in the UK’s national interest. Regardless of the negotiations, Brexit will not deliver new slots, but an increased capacity at Heathrow will do. That will help us increase our links, and increase our trade links, across the world.
My Lords, with the leave of the House, I will repeat in the form of a Statement the Answer given by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport to an Urgent Question in the other place. The Statement is as follows:
“In December, following a collective government decision and a procurement process involving my department and the Treasury, we contracted three shipping companies to provide additional ferry capacity as part of contingency planning for a potential no-deal EU exit. Let me start by being absolutely clear that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Government’s priority is to ensure the smooth operation of both the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel, and we are putting in place measures at the UK end to contribute to this.
However, any sensible Government plans for all eventualities. That is why we agreed contracts worth around £100 million, with the bulk of the award, £89 million, going to DFDS and Brittany Ferries to provide services across seven separate routes. Built into those agreements are options to add capacity on two other routes from those companies should they be required. This capacity could be required to guarantee the smooth flow of some key goods into the UK, particularly for the NHS. It is worth reminding the House that, in the event of no deal and constriction on the short straits, this capacity would be sold on to hauliers carrying priority goods.
In addition to the £89 million-worth of contracts with DFDS and Brittany Ferries, the Department for Transport entered into a £13.8 million contract with Seaborne Freight to provide ferry services from the Port of Ramsgate to Ostend. At the time of the award, we were fully aware of Seaborne’s status as a start-up business and the need for Seaborne to secure vessels and port user agreements to deliver a service. However, the shorter distance between the two ports meant that the route could provide us with shorter journey times and lower cost, making it a potentially attractive part of the package.
Seaborne’s proposition to the department was backed by Arklow Shipping, Ireland’s biggest and one of Europe’s largest shipping companies. For commercial reasons I have not been able to name Arklow Shipping or mention its involvement to date. But its support for the proposition from the outset, and the assurances the department received, provided confidence in the viability of this deal. Arklow confirmed to me that it intended to finance the purchase of ships and would be major shareholders in Seaborne. It also confirmed to me its view that the Seaborne plans were, ‘both viable and deliverable’. These assurances included clear evidence about the availability of suitable vessels from the continent and about the formal steps which Seaborne, via Arklow, had taken to secure these vessels.
However, releasing this information into the public domain could have significantly driven up the cost of the vessels and might even have resulted in them being removed from the market, where supply is extremely scarce. I have therefore had to refrain from saying anything publicly to date about this.
My department monitored closely the progress of Seaborne towards meeting its contractual commitments. By last week, the company had secured firm options on ships to operate on the route, and had reached provisional agreement with Ostend and was close to doing so with Ramsgate. However, late last week, despite previous assurances, Arklow Shipping suddenly and unexpectedly withdrew its backing from Seaborne. In the light of this, and after very careful assessment, I took the decision to terminate this contract. My department concluded that there were now too many major commercial issues to be resolved to enable Seaborne to establish alternative arrangements and finance in the time needed to bring ferries and ports into operation.
As I have repeatedly made clear, not a penny of taxpayers’ money has gone or will go to Seaborne. The contracts we agreed with the three ferry companies are essentially a commitment to block book tickets on additional sailings after the UK leaves the European Union, so actually we have taken a responsible decision to make sure that taxpayers’ money is properly protected.
I can confirm that the contracts with DFDS and Brittany Ferries remain on track and will provide us with valuable additional freight capacity into the UK in the event of disruption following EU exit. We also have contractual options to replace the Seaborne capacity with additional capacity on routes in the North Sea, and this is an option we will be discussing across government in the coming days.
While the focus of this Government is to secure a deal with the European Union, as a responsible Government we will continue to make proportionate contingency plans for a range of scenarios. That is the right thing to do”.
My Lords, we have listed the checks carried out as due diligence on the operational suitability of all the bids submitted as part of the department’s procurement of additional freight capacity. They were director searches and basic counterparty financial solvency checks, with technical support provided by Mott MacDonald. Two high-level technical reviews were completed. The first related to the ferry tender and submission compliance within the DfT evaluation process and the second to the technical feasibility of the tendered ferry intervention. Financial analysis was carried out by Deloitte to assess the financial robustness of operators, and price benchmarking by Deloitte to examine the prices offered to DfT in comparison with market rates to enable the assessment of value for money as part of the procurement process.
I explained earlier in the Statement the reasoning behind not mentioning Arklow before. It was for commercial reasons. It would have adversely affected the cost of ships in order to procure the contract. We contracted directly with Seaborne because it was the company that had been working for over a year to provide the service between Ramsgate and Ostend.
My Lords, this train line has been a long-standing problem ever since it was opened in 1846—that year trains failed to run along it. We are working closely on that and although I am not able to give the noble Lord a date, we are making significant progress. Network Rail has submitted a plan that we are looking at carefully and we hope to make an announcement on it very shortly.
The noble Lord is right to point to the issues we have with CrossCountry trains. The new intercity express trains on GWR were also affected by weather along the Devon coast last week, so we are working very closely with Hitachi to find a solution. As the noble Lord pointed out, there is a planning submission in play and, as I said, we are absolutely determined to come up with a long-term solution to this problem.
As I said, to make responsible preparations it is important to consider all the different options available to us. Of course we are having conversations with the Commission and the member states about a wide range of issues. I am not able to give further detailed information at this moment but our preference is very strongly for a broader deal which will provide a liberalised agreement with the EU, though there are other options available to us. I hope this provides reassurance that we will continue to see flights between the UK and the EU. We will continue to work towards this as we move towards exit day.
Our first point of contact is with the EU Commission to agree a wider deal. It has been widely reported that the Secretary of State has written to other member states to discuss the potential bilateral agreements. We are working very hard to get that wider deal. That is our focus but, should that not happen, then of course we are making sure that we are as prepared as possible to ensure that we do not have any disruption in services come 29 March.
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The noble Lord will know that there are many positions on the negotiations. As I said, that is the Commission’s latest position. We are continuing to negotiate with it on the broader future partnership arrangements. Alongside that, we are of course talking to it about no deal too. There is no specific latest date. That is why we need to do this no-deal preparation, so that if it goes close to the date of exit the industry understands what the alternatives are. We are very keen to provide industry with certainty as early as possible.
We have the European Council on Sunday and I expect that there will be an outcome from that. We will then look at what next steps need to be taken. We are very hopeful that the deal is done and will be agreed by Parliament so that we reach our implementation period on 29 March and the industry has that certainty. Should that not be the case, we will of course continue the discussions with the Commission to provide certainty as early as we possibly can. I am very aware, in my many meetings with the aviation sector, of the importance of providing that certainty. That is what this no-deal planning and our continued negotiations with the Commission are about. I beg to move.
My Lords, I thank noble Lords for their consideration of these draft regulations. Throughout the passage of the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act there was valuable debate, which allowed us to refine and improve the Act and ensure that it laid out the necessary framework. I am grateful once again for the opportunity to consider the detail of this legislation. I shall attempt to answer all the questions, although I am not sure I will be able to in the time allowed. If there are questions I do not get to, I will follow up in writing.
On the requests for current haulage industry figures: there are 8,400 standard international licences currently in use and 32,000 Community licences. Our figures show that if hauliers were to make one trip per week on each permit, around 20% of current activity by UK HGVs could be facilitated on ECMT permits alone. However, 20% is not enough and we do not expect to rely solely on ECMT permits. These regulations and the published guidance refer only to ECMT permit applications. We do not yet know the outcome of negotiations, so we are not able to provide further information to hauliers on that. Whether with the EU or with member states, it could be that no permits are required at all. In that case, obviously these regulations will not come into force.
I will say a little more on the permit application process—
My Lords, I am afraid that I am not able to give a definite date. We are trying to introduce the trains as soon as possible, but there remain issues that we need to work through. LNER has said that it hopes to start introducing the trains early next year. On my noble friend’s point about King’s Cross, we are carrying out essential works on King’s Cross to replace the expired track and signalling to ensure that we can see the full benefits of the east coast main line enhancements.
Well, that was not me. The noble Lord is quite right to say that in May I gave reassurance that those trains would come into service. At the time, that was very much what we were planning. However, as I said, there have been emerging issues on that which we need to work through. It is not unusual with delivery of a whole new infrastructure—and this is a £2.7 billion investment, which we should welcome—that there are some compatibility issues. We are working through them. On the noble Lord’s point about the rail system, it has been well over a decade since we have seen a large change in the rail network and, while we have seen record private investment and the doubling of passenger journeys, of course it has had its challenges. The time is absolutely right for a comprehensive review, and that is what the rail review will do.
My Lords, since privatisation, UK railways have seen a period of incredible growth and passenger journeys have more than doubled. The industry has not been able to keep up with that demand, which is why we are looking at the rail review. It will consider all parts of the rail industry, from the current franchising system to industry structures. That will not stop us continuing to invest in the meantime and seeing more trains with more capacity come on to our lines.
My Lords, as I said, we are aiming to move from RPI to CPI. We are continuing with record levels of funding, with around £48 billion expected to be spent on the network from 2019 to 24, but rail fares will continue to play a role in delivering improvements. We are delivering the biggest rail modernisation for more than a century, and it is meaning faster journeys, longer trains, longer platforms and more seats.
I think with all the SIs we are doing, we are literally transcribing EU law into UK law and treating it the same way, as the UK, as we would as a member of the EU. I think any change of policy in the future is not going to be part of these SIs, it would be done as a separate policy decision and debated in the normal way in both Houses. All these SIs are specifically correcting deficiencies which will exist after the withdrawal Act to ensure we have the correct regulatory frameworks. They are not changing; any changes to the minimum requirements would be done if and only if there is a change to international treaties. Some of these SIs do have executive functions which are being carried across; that is why we are giving the reassurance that any time an executive function is used, it will be in the affirmative way.
I will say more about the minimum insurance cover as several noble Lords have mentioned it. Article 6.1 gives member states the power to set a level of minimum insurance cover in respect of the liabilities for passengers, baggage and cargo, and that is lower than 250,000 special drawing rights per passenger for non-commercial aircraft with a maximum take-off mass of 2,700 kilograms or less. In answer to the question asked by the noble Baroness, non-commercial just means that no money has changed hands for the flight. That applies primarily to light and experimental aircraft, and cover must be at least 100,000 SDRs per passenger. The UK has exercised that power, as have other member states, and set the lower minimum of 100,000 SDRs within the Civil Aviation (Insurance) Regulations. This SI does not give us an option to set it lower—not that we would want to—it just carries across the minimum level. I hope I have assured noble Lords that this is not an attempt to change that in any way. We have no intention of doing so.
In answer to questions on airspace, this is not dealt with in the same way as an air services agreement; it is an International Air Services Transit Agreement which accompanies the Chicago Convention. Almost all EU member states are separate signatories to an IASTA, meaning they allow overflights and will continue to do so whether or not we are a member of the EU. On the devolved Administrations, obviously aviation is primarily a reserved matter and civil aviation insurance is fully reserved in respect of all three devolved Administrations, but of course we are continuing to engage with them on all aviation matters.
There were a couple of questions from the noble Lord, Lord Rosser. I think the last exceptional failure of the insurance market was in response to 9/11. We are working closely with passenger representatives throughout the development of our position on EU exit and aviation in preparing these SIs.
I apologise that it did not. I will be looking at what we say in the consultation paragraphs in future to ensure that there is proper information to give assurance to noble Lords. I personally, my officials and indeed the Secretary of State regularly meet with industry and passenger interest groups to ensure that we are getting this right as we leave the European Union.
As I say, I hope I have answered the majority of questions. I apologise if I have missed any but there were quite a few, so I will follow up in writing. As I have said, we remain confident that we will reach an agreement with the EU, but of course it is important that we prepare our legislative framework in case we leave the EU with no deal. That is what this SI is doing. The regulations do not make any changes to the substance of the insurance requirements that air carriers and aircraft operators are expected to meet, but they are essential to ensuring that the retained EU legislation which sets out these requirements continues to work effectively in the UK immediately after exit day. That is what these SIs are designed to do. We need to ensure that we have the right regulatory and legislative framework to provide passengers and industry with choice, connectivity and value for money irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations. I beg to move.
My Lords, I thank noble Lords for their consideration of these draft regulations. As the noble Baroness said, I am afraid they are the first of many EU exit transport regulations. The purpose of these regulations is indeed to make minor and technical amendments to the three pieces of legislation that we are discussing, by amending the language used to take account of EU exit, but otherwise to maintain the status quo.
As I said in my opening remarks, the regulations themselves do not set, raise or lower fees. The fees orders are supplementary to existing powers that the Secretary of State has in other legislation, and that other legislation sets the fees. The regulations do not in any way extend the powers of the Secretary of State or relate to a change in the fees.
I turn to the questions that were asked. The noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, mentioned the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act, as did the noble Lord, Lord Rosser. We have consulted extensively with the industry on that and we will be discussing the regulations under that Act soon. There is a government response to the consultation, which I will forward to the noble Lord, explaining where we are on fees. We will be discussing that soon.
As I said, the regulations do not set or change the fees themselves but merely set out what can be taken into account, so charges absolutely will not go up. There has been a role for the EU Commission in setting the charges in the past but there will not be after exit.
For the non-UK driver—an issue raised by the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley—EU driving licences will continue to be recognised in the UK post Brexit, as set out in some of our recent technical notices, so the charges for getting a GB driving licence will not change.
On the question of devolved Administrations, which the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, mentioned, we are working closely with them throughout our entire SI programme—obviously more so on some which are directly relevant than on others, but on every one we are working closely with them. Some of the fees orders’ functions are GB-wide—for example, driving licences, as Northern Ireland has its own regime and its own legislation to set its own fees—while others relate to the whole of the UK.
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That is very much subject to negotiations. We hope to agree a mutually beneficial deal with liberalised access to continue as it is for haulage firms. Bilateral permits exist. In the event of no deal, we will work bilaterally with the countries involved to agree permit systems. We are very keen to pursue continuing the access that we have at the moment, which would be reciprocal. That is what we are working towards.
The noble Baroness is quite right that many of our goods are moved by small businesses and we are reliant on them for that. I agree that an increase in charges would adversely affect them but, as I said, the regulations do not change the fee or regulate businesses. The fee orders determine what the Secretary of State can consider rather than regulate small businesses. That is why it is noted as such.
The noble Lord, Lord Rosser, asked about consultation. We are working closely with all our transport stakeholders on the Brexit regulations. We have spoken to them about all the different SIs. This SI will not affect stakeholders. All it will do is remove the obligation on the Secretary of State to take note of the European Union.
On the impact of a deal, which we are all working hard to achieve, the SI will come into force on exit day, which is defined in the withdrawal Act as 29 March 2019. Ultimately, the coming into force of the SI will depend on the outcome of the EU negotiations and any new legislation arising from that outcome. If the UK reaches a withdrawal agreement with the EU, that agreement is expected to provide for an implementation period. We have announced that in that event, we will introduce to Parliament a European Union withdrawal agreement Bill as a primary means of implementing the agreement. Exit day would remain as 11 pm on 29 March 2019 but the coming into force of the SI may be reviewed and delayed until the end of the implementation period. The SI may not be needed, but it is part of our readiness work, as are the SIs to come, which we strongly believe we should be doing as a responsible Government. Noble Lords are aware of the number of upcoming SIs and the limited parliamentary time, so we will spread them out between now and exit day to get through them. Obviously, if a deal is reached and an implementation period is agreed, that will affect that.
As I said, exit day will remain 11 pm on 29 March 2019. When this SI comes into force is currently defined in the withdrawal Act but should a deal be reached where we get a withdrawal agreement, the implementation day of the instrument could change through the subsequent Bill that the Government will bring forward to implement the withdrawal agreement in UK law.
The expectation is that with the withdrawal agreement we will have an implementation period. During that period we would be covered by current EU laws and therefore this secondary legislation would not come into effect. Obviously I cannot give a guarantee of that because we do not yet know the outcome regarding the withdrawal agreement and it has yet to pass through Parliament, but the expectation is that during the implementation period we would continue as we are and the SI would not come into force until the date agreed through the withdrawal agreement Bill that will be coming through the House.
I am afraid I am not able to give a definitive answer to the noble Lord’s question. As I said, we have yet to agree a transition or implementation period with the EU. As we do not know those terms, I am not able to answer the question. However, our expectation is that throughout that period we will continue as we are so this SI would not come into effect until a date set out in the EU withdrawal agreement Bill.
I take the noble Lord’s point that the negotiations and discussions on that agreement are ongoing, and the outcome of that may of course affect what we do in future. However, due to the number of regulations that will have to be discussed in order to ensure that our statute books are fit for 29 March should we not reach an agreement, we think it is the responsible thing to do to keep going with this programme and start these discussions between now and exit day.
I reiterate that the detail around the delivery of the specified functions and the prescription of the fees that can be charged for delivery are set out in other legislation. Making this proposed instrument would merely enable the continuation of the current fee-setting process by removing references to the EU after we leave, so things would absolutely continue as they are.
My Lords, the new timetable was planned to deliver hundreds more services up and down the country to benefit passengers, but I think that we can all agree that it has not been successfully delivered. As I say, we are working closely with the train operating companies to ensure that the interim timetables provide the reliable services that passengers expect and deserve. We are conducting a review into whether GTR has met its contractual obligations, which will report in the coming weeks. Once completed, we will follow the advice.
My Lords, the rail industry has collectively failed to deliver for its customers. It is right that it apologise, and the Department for Transport has apologised too. As I have said, we are prioritising the reliability of the service, but I take the noble Lord’s point. That is why we have set up an independent inquiry —to understand what went wrong. We are eagerly awaiting its recommendations because we must learn these lessons, and we will.
My Lords, as I said, we have committed £2 billion to the south-west strategic road network. It will include the first three schemes to achieve the continuous dual carriageway: Southfields to Taunton; Sparkford to Ilchester; and Amesbury to Berwick Down. The intention is to complete the remaining five schemes for the full corridor upgrade in future road investment strategies.
My Lords, this is a complicated site and we need to do all we can to preserve it. Since the consultation ended, the scheme has undergone further consideration and further development, which led to the identification of three changes, specifically: removing the previously proposed links between byways 11 and 12; widening the green bridge proposed near the existing Longbarrow roundabout to improve the physical and visual connection; and moving the proposed modification of Rollestone crossroads to provide a more compact junction layout. That consultation will take place until 14 August, and then the feedback will be considered and the DCO will be submitted.
My Lords, with the leave of the House I will repeat in the form of a Statement the Answer given by my honourable friend the Minister of State for Transport to an Urgent Question in the other place. The Statement is as follows:
“The Shadow Transport Secretary has asked about the current situation on GTR and about electrification. I will answer each in turn.
Performance on GTR has been unacceptable since the timetable change on 20 May. GTR is working to increase the predictability and reliability of journeys on its network, including reducing the number of on-the-day cancellations. On 15 July, it will implement an interim timetable. This will allow GTR to slowly build up services to the originally planned May timetable. We have announced that passengers affected by severe disruption on GTR will receive special compensation; an announcement will follow shortly.
We have also commissioned the independent Glaister review to make sure we learn lessons and so that this does not happen again. We have started a formal review of the franchise to establish whether GTR has met its contractual obligations in the planning and delivery of the May timetable. We will not hesitate to take tough action against it if it is found to have been negligent.
On electrification, the Government are clear that passengers expect high-quality rail services and we are committed to electrification where it delivers passenger benefits and value for money. We will also take advantage of state-of-the-art, new technology to improve rail journeys.
Over recent days, there has been speculation over the trans-Pennine route upgrade. I can clarify for colleagues that the trans-Pennine route upgrade will account for one-third of our anticipated expenditure for rail enhancements nationwide for the next spending period. It will be the biggest single investment we will make during this period, demonstrating our commitment to improving passenger journeys in the north.
The department is currently awaiting Network Rail’s final project plan. We have instructed it to prioritise those elements which bring the quickest passenger benefits. We will update the House on this in due course”.
My Lords, on the operational readiness board, the timetable was planned to introduce major changes and rail companies communicated these changes extensively to their passengers. However, the level of disruption caused by the introduction of the timetable was obviously not anticipated. We are working closely with GTR to put this right. One issue was that the operational readiness board did not anticipate the disruption, so the review will cover that.
On the review itself, Professor Stephen Glaister, who is chairing it, is from the independent rail regulator, the ORR. The inquiry will consider why the industry as a whole failed to produce and implement an effective timetable. There are various independent people on that review and they will consider the role of the ORR, train operating companies and, indeed, the Department for Transport.
We are looking to reduce congestion, but obviously people still need to travel and to drive to work. More than 17 million people use the roads to commute to work, and I think that we should encourage that.
My Lords, I mentioned in my Answer to the original Question that the average is a return of £4.50 for every £1 invested. Our last evaluation, back in 2014, looked at how the investment we are making benefits the economy. We are carrying out a new study that will be available later this year to ensure that we are spending money wisely.
My Lords, I thank all noble Lords for their contributions today and for their broad support for these measures. I shall aim to answer as many questions as I can. If I am not able to address every issue, I will follow up in writing.
On the types of lasers, we have not defined lasers in the Bill because our legal advice is that the term would be understood and there would not be difficulty in prosecuting based on whether or not a light source was a laser. The offence would cover all forms of lasers, including laser pens, pointers and laser guns; and the term “beam” would cover laser pulses and bursts, as the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig, mentioned.
The offence specifically covers lasers rather than any light source because of the risk of inadvertently catching normal and acceptable light sources, such as car headlights, which might dazzle and distract the pilot or the driver of another vehicle. Lasers are the predominant risk. The police have not raised the same concern in relation to other lights, such as strobe lights, as they have with lasers.
The noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig, asked whether Clause 1(8) should refer to an individual rather than a pilot. We have sought to capture those persons who are in control of the vehicle, and in the case of an aircraft these will be the pilots. We specifically refer to the pilots monitoring the control of the aircraft to capture co-pilots. When a laser beam is shone or directed at an aircraft, the light often tends to refract and fill the cockpit with light, so it is difficult to imagine another member of the crew being dazzled or distracted but not the pilots.
Many noble Lords raised the definition of a journey. Similar concerns were raised during the Committee stage of the then Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill, which referred to “flights” for aviation rather than “journeys”. We have taken on board those concerns and amended the Bill to ensure that all parts of the journeys are covered. “Journey” will bear its natural meaning. It is intended to start when the vehicle is ready to commence its journey and end when it comes to a final stop at its destination. That includes taxiing in the case of an aircraft and for all vehicles will cover temporary stops along the way such as stops at train stations, bus stops, traffic lights or, indeed, when waiting to take off.
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We are working with local authority ports and borders teams to advise them on prioritising the checking of imports. We have allocated a grant of £100,000, as the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, mentioned, to help them have an immediate and targeted impact. We are also working with online retailers and importers.
Yes, I can confirm that it is a total of £100,000. Perhaps I will get some more detail on exactly what work the department is doing with local authorities to help them deal with this issue.
On the licensing regime, the evidence we gathered in our call for evidence did not indicate that a ban or a licensing regime would have a positive impact on public safety. We believe that introducing legislation to license the supply and purchase of high-powered lasers would not tackle illegal imports that are purchased online or indeed the many people purchasing them while on holiday. We have looked at international examples. Australia and New Zealand have taken legislative action to impose a ban or a strict licensing system, but that did not actually have a positive effect on reducing the number of these laser incidents.
We do not think that we should classify laser pointers as offensive weapons. I understand the point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, that only a few people use lasers in a legitimate way, but we think that it would penalise them. However, if a pointer is adapted for use to cause injury or if it is intended to be used to do so, it would then be classified as an offensive weapon.
My noble friend Lord Balfe raised the issue of children who commit this offence and the responsibility of their parents. Obviously, children under 10 years of age cannot be charged with committing an offence, but other steps can be taken such as a local child curfew or a child safety order. Of course, children aged between 10 and 17 can be arrested and taken to court. However, I understand the point that my noble friend has made and I will discuss it with my colleagues in the Ministry of Justice.
Air traffic control towers were mentioned by my noble friend Lord Balfe, the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, and the noble Lord, Lord Rosser. The Bill does not currently cover air traffic control towers, but it is an interesting point. I am aware of a number of incidents where lasers have been shone at fixed installations. Such installations are often located in controlled areas so there is less scope to shine a laser, but we can certainly consider whether air traffic control towers should be included in the Bill.
My noble friend Lord Kirkhope asked about regional air traffic control and how best to deal with these reports, in particular as regards general aviation. The CAA has published a safety notice on laser attacks which provides guidance for air traffic controllers, principally to inform the police immediately and pass on all relevant information. However, obviously I understand that in general aviation the practice is perhaps not as well known as it should be. We will discuss the matter with the CAA.
A number of noble Lords raised the regulation of certain strengths of lasers. It might be helpful to say a few words on the current situation on the classification of lasers in the market. Lasers sold in the UK are classified in accordance with the current British standard on laser safety, which sets out eight classes of laser products. The classification scheme for lasers indicates the potential risks of adverse health effects. The higher the class number, the greater the radiation hazards posed by the laser. Under the General Product Safety Regulations, only laser pointers considered safe for general use should be made available to the public through general sale. The higher classes 3 and 4 are not suitable for sale to consumers. Laser pointers above 1 milliwatt are generally accepted to have limited specialist uses and can be removed from the market. But obviously, as I said, consumers purchase products directly via the internet and while overseas on holiday, which is of course more difficult to control.
My noble friend Lord Balfe and the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, mentioned stop and search and whether the police need these powers. It is worth noting that the police already have the power to stop and search for laser pointers where they have reasonable grounds to suspect that the pointer is intended to cause injury. That is because the laser would then be deemed an offensive weapon. The Government are clear that the power of stop and search, when used correctly, is vital in the fight against crime, but the Home Office is currently conducting a review to achieve greater transparency on this. While this work takes place, it would not be appropriate to consult on extending the power of stop and search to cover lasers, but my department, together with the Home Office, will consider consulting on proposals to apply the power of stop and search to laser pointers as soon as that review is concluded, which I expect to be later this year.
On sentencing, five years is the maximum jail term, as I said, and would be imposed in only the most serious cases, but we believe it is important to have an effective deterrent for these sorts of offences. As I explained, it will be a triable either way offence. It will be up to the courts to decide which court should hear each case, dependent on the seriousness. For a summary offence tried in the magistrates’ court, the maximum imprisonment will be restricted to six months in England and Wales or 12 months when Section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act is commenced.
On the point from the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, on where the case would be tried if the offence is done across a border—which, I must admit, is something I had not considered—I imagine it will be where the person holding the laser has his feet placed, as that is where the offence would be committed. I will certainly take that back to clarify. He also asked how many people had been found guilty of committing this offence. In 2016 it was 10 and in 2015 it was 16. I will send the noble Lord the full figures I have available.
The noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, mentioned drones. As I said at the end of November, it is our intention to bring forward drone legislation in the spring of this year. That is still our intention. I understand the importance of the issue and the desire to act quickly on this, but we have decided to separate the treatment of drones from that of lasers as they present different challenges. I look forward to bringing forward drones legislation as quickly as possible.
As the noble Lord, Lord Monks, mentioned, I am lucky enough to have both the president and the vice-president—and, indeed, lowly members—of BALPA in your Lordships’ House, so I want to take this opportunity to thank BALPA for its engagement with my department on this and many other issues that face the aviation sector. I hope that I have addressed all the issues raised. If not, as I said, I will follow them up in writing.
We believe that the existing laws are not strong enough, with the police unable properly to investigate and prosecute such incidents. The police lack powers to search the homes of suspects. Even when a conviction is secured, the maximum penalty for dazzling or distraction is only £2,500, and there is no specific law against shining a laser at a ship or at motorists at the wheel. This new offence will act as a deterrent to these dangerous incidents happening in the first place, but if they do occur, the proposals will help the police bring the offenders to justice.
The safety and security of the travelling public must always be a top priority for the Government. With more than 1,000 attacks on aircraft reported each year, as well as those on other modes of transport, we have a duty to act. I ask the House to give the Bill a Second Reading.
My Lords, I thank my noble friend Lord Selborne for introducing this debate, and all noble Lords for their contributions. I am grateful to the members of the Science and Technology Committee for their work in producing their report, many of whom we have heard from today. I also acknowledge my noble friend Lord Henley, who has worked closely with my department in responding to the report, and I apologise for the delay in that response. This has been an interesting and thought-provoking debate and a wide range of issues have been raised. I will do my best to answer as many as I can in the time allowed.
As many noble Lords have acknowledged, connected and autonomous vehicles will have a huge impact on transport in this country, and the technology is already well advanced. So of course it is vital that we are prepared for the changes to come. We are on the cusp of a profound shift in the transport system, enabled by technology. That is why we have identified the future of mobility as one of four grand challenges in the industrial strategy.
In the Budget, the Chancellor set out a vision for fully self-driving vehicles to be on our roads by 2021. The Government are also taking forward the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill to ensure that consumers are protected and insurers are prepared for the introduction of automated vehicles to our roads.
The first recommendation of the committee is to ensure that we do not have too narrow a focus on highly automated private road vehicles, a point raised this evening by many noble Lords. We absolutely agree that work in this field must address a broader market. Although our self-driving car programme has been very successful, we are also working hard to extend the benefits of the technology more widely. One example is a facility in Oxfordshire, Remote Applications in Challenging Environments, which is conducting research and development to explore how to remove people from dangerous environments such as nuclear decommissioning.
As mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Cameron, in the farming sector the Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation Centre is researching advanced technologies; projects include looking at the use of robotics for planting, monitoring and harvesting crops. The noble Lord also highlighted the advantages that such technology can bring, both in the UK and abroad. I look forward to researching that and learning more. The noble Lord, Lord Fox, made an interesting point about whether we should focus more on specific industries to see the benefit of that; we will certainly reflect on that.
Automation offers clear opportunities for the aviation and maritime sectors, alongside those offered in road transport. We have already seen some early deployments of automation in those sectors; UK companies are at the forefront of that. As technology develops there, we will work with industry to ensure that we have the right regulatory framework to deal with it. These are just a few examples of the many exciting opportunities beyond self-driving cars—opportunities that will help us to deliver the transformative benefits of connected and autonomous technology to new sectors of the UK economy.
As part of our industrial strategy, we are working with industry to ensure that we have the right level of leadership in emerging sectors. In the recent White Paper, the Government set out a “sector deal” approach; those sectors deals are being developed right now in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous systems. The industrial strategy also outlined the role of an industry-led AI council: to lead collaboration between industry, research organisations and government. Alongside that, there is the Challenge Fund, which established the robotics and AI advisory group. I am pleased to hear my noble friend Lord Selborne welcome the approach on sector deals; I hope this provides more information and gives your Lordships some confidence that we are trying to deal with the cross-cutting nature of industrial collaboration.
Many noble Lords highlighted the importance of investment. Of course, we will continue to provide research and funding to mitigate the inherent risk of market failure in early-stage technology. That is vital to get industry on board and is already having an impact. Both Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover are running high-profile research programmes of around 100 highly automated vehicles here in the UK. By demonstrating our commitment to this emerging industry, we hope that businesses will invest in the UK with confidence.
We are establishing ourselves as a leading market for the testing and deployment of these technologies, and we intend to do all we can to stay in that position. By working closely with industry, we are better positioned to know where we should focus our resources. There are many examples of the work we are doing on this, including the Transport Systems Catapult and Innovate UK, which works with small and medium-sized enterprises in this field.
The Government have an important role to play in funding research. In the Autumn Statement last year, we announced an investment programme of nearly £5 billion over four years to boost the UK’s position as a world leader in science and innovation. The noble Lord, Lord Mair, highlighted the investment in the co-ordination hub, Meridian. I hope that demonstrates that the Government and industry have vital roles to play in delivering the benefits of this technology to the UK. We will support manufacturers and technology developers, large and small, throughout the process. I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, that it is key that we get the relationship between government and industry right.
The noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, and other noble Lords raised the important issue of infrastructure. There is a huge challenge ahead of us in making sure that our infrastructure is ready for connected and automotive technology when it is available. Very different systems from those available today will be needed. However, this is an opportunity. We have a number of programmes under way to understand more about what infrastructure is required and how we can profit from that opportunity. We are engaging with all levels of the supply chain to understand what we need; that includes vehicle manufacturers, Highways England and others, covering telecommunications, data and infrastructure. We have specific initiatives in place analysing how connected and autonomous technologies will work on our roads and influence our future. The London to Dover A2/M2 connected corridor will test a variety of communications systems to help us establish how the new technologies will be deployed.
A lot of this infrastructure will also affect local roads, as mentioned by the noble Baroness, Lady Young, and the noble Lord, Lord Fox. We agree with the recommendation in the report that local transport authorities will play an integral role in the success of connected and autonomous vehicles, and that the Government can help to improve learning as the technologies develop. We meet LTAs frequently; we recently initiated a forum for authorities deploying, or interested in deploying, connecting vehicle technologies. I believe the first meeting was in Newcastle a few weeks ago, so that work is ongoing. I hope this demonstrates that we are thinking ahead by ensuring that the infrastructure will be ready when we need it.
My Lords, I thank all noble Lords for their contributions and for their broad support for this measure. I will do my best to answer as many of the points raised as I can but, if I do not manage to answer them all, I will write to noble Lords.
The noble Lord, Lord Shipley, asked how the change to constituent authorities will work. It would require a further affirmative statutory instrument once it had been proposed and approved by the existing members of Transport for the North.
There was some discussion about the powers for Transport for the North. These powers have been agreed after extensive engagement with TfN and the northern leaders over the last 12 months. Both the Government and TfN agree that the role outlined in this statutory instrument allows TfN to build its capability and capacity over time, and we think that it strikes the right balance between national and regional priorities. Of course, Transport for the North can seek approval from the Secretary of State for additional functions and take on more responsibility to improve transport planning or make provision to enhance economic development in the area.
The noble Lords, Lord Shipley, Lord Liddle and Lord Berkeley, raised the question of regional disparity. This Government are reversing decades of underinvestment in the north, with the biggest investment for a generation. Including all projects, the Government are spending more per head on transport in the north-west than they are in the south-east. This is backed up by the recent publication of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, which shows that per head spending in the north is expected to be £10 higher than in the south. Indeed, just today we have published our rebalancing toolkit, which is designed to help authors of strategic cases assess how a programme fits with the objective of spreading growth across the country.
On funding, raised by probably every noble Lord, the initial funding settlement of £260 million reflects TfN’s initial role. There are also the resources needed to deliver the programme set out in the Northern Transport Strategy. I am afraid that I am not able to give a specific figure as requested by the noble Lord, Lord Liddle. TfN is aiming to publish its draft strategic transport plan in the new year, and a 12-week consultation will follow. It should be finalised in the summer of 2018 and, from there, we will look forward to working with TfN, as it becomes a statutory body, on how best to move that forward. We are already spending £13 billion on transport in the north and, as I said, we must wait to see what TfN’s strategy comes up with.
On the question of who makes the decisions, TfN will, through its strategic transport plan, make decisions on the transport priorities for the north. It will provide the evidence to make the case but Ministers here, who are ultimately accountable to Parliament, will make the funding decision, so that will sit with the Secretary of State.
The noble Lord, Lord Beecham, asked about future franchises. TfN will be a statutory consultee on all future franchises.
The noble Lord, Lord Liddle, mentioned Cumbria. I understand that the LEP there is developing a strategic outline business case and we look forward to considering it. We are working with the LEP and the county council to help them develop that business case.
The noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, asked about Manchester rail stations. The Secretary of State has recently written to the Mayor of Greater Manchester to propose a further discussion on how we best answer that.
We see the establishment of Transport for the North as a significant step for the north and for the country. It will work with the region’s transport authorities and elected mayors to build a long-term vision for transport across the north of England. As the voice of the north on transport, TfN will have unprecedented influence over government funding and decision-making.
This Government are clearly demonstrating that, in setting up Transport for the North and backing the election of metro mayors, we are giving the north greater autonomy and control, and a powerful voice to articulate the case for new transport projects.
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My apologies for missing that. We are aware of the potential issue of the different rates of APD in Scotland and the north of England and indeed in the rest of the UK. In the Budget last week, that change was not made, but we keep a close eye on it.
My Lords, I have indeed been looking at the comparison between the UK and Europe. I understand that it very much depends on which rail fare you are looking at; many fares are similar or even cheaper in the UK. Britain has seen the biggest shift to rail from other transport of any railway in Europe since 2009. We have comparable punctuality and higher than average customer satisfaction, and we are investing more in rail than any country in Europe. We are currently delivering the biggest upgrades to our network since the Victorian era.
My Lords, the noble Lord is right to point out that our current franchise agreements are negotiated on the RPI increase. I say again that we recognise the effect that has on people’s incomes and keep it under review. We welcome the fact that we were able to reduce this from RPI plus 1 in 2014. I am afraid I do not have the figures to hand, and I am not sure they would be available, on the compensation that would need to be given if we used CPI rather than RPI.
My Lords, with the leave of the House, I shall now repeat a Statement made in the other place by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport. The Statement is as follows:
“When Britain’s railways were privatised in the mid-1990s, it was against a backdrop of what many regarded as terminal decline. The radical Beeching cuts of the 1960s had been followed by further line closures under British Rail, and passenger numbers had been steadily falling since the Second World War—yet privatisation sparked a remarkable turnaround in the railways’ fortunes. Over 1.5 million more trains are timetabled each year than 20 years ago, passenger demand has more than doubled and other countries are now adopting Great Britain’s rail model in their own markets.
To support this growth and reverse decades of underinvestment in the infrastructure, we have embarked on the biggest rail modernisation programme since Victorian times. In addition to government funding, billions of pounds of investment from the private sector is also helping to renew and expand train fleets, upgrade stations and transform services across the country, and franchises are making an increasing contribution to the public purse—so the rail renaissance we are seeing in Great Britain today is the direct result of a successful partnership between public and private sectors.
This partnership has delivered real benefits for passengers for more than 20 years, but the success of privatisation has created its own challenges. As the number of services has increased, our network has become more and more congested, making delivering the punctual, reliable services that passengers expect more challenging. On much of the network our railway is operating on the edge of what it can cope with. It carries more passengers today than since its heyday in the 1920s, on a network a fraction of the size. When things go wrong, the impact can be widespread and quick, causing significant frustration for the travelling public.
That is why last year I announced plans to start bringing together the operation of track and train on our railways. This is a process of evolution and not revolution, and I said that the exact approach may differ from area to area, but the outcome must be the same: a railway that is predominantly run by a joint local team of people with an absolute commitment to the smooth running of the timetable, whether planning essential repairs, responding to incidents on the line or communicating with passengers.
Today I am publishing more details about our plans, an update on what we are doing and the steps that we will take to realise them. This publication, called Connecting People: a Strategic Vision for Rail, explains how we will create a new generation of regional rail operations with a relentless focus on the passengers, economies and communities they serve. It represents the biggest change to the delivery of rail services since privatisation. Although we have already achieved significant structural improvements, with joined-up working between operators and Network Rail, and Network Rail’s own transformation into a series of regional route businesses, the document explains our plans to go much further.
Where it delivers real benefits for passengers, many future rail franchises will be run by a joint team, made up of staff from Network Rail and the train company, and headed by a new alliance director. This will make the railway more reliable for passengers by devolving powers to local routes and teams, and ensuring that one team is responsible for running the trains and the infrastructure they use.
Today I am also issuing the invitation to tender for the next South Eastern franchise. This will, among other things, deliver longer trains, providing space for at least 40,000 additional passengers in the morning rush hour, and a simpler, high-frequency turn-up-and-go timetable on suburban routes, which will boost capacity and provide a better service to passengers. As part of that unification of track and train, the day-to-day operations on the South Eastern network will be run by a joint team led by a new alliance director, heading both the track and train operations. On the East Midlands main line we will also introduce a joint-team approach, bringing more benefits to passengers.
Honourable Members will know that the east coast main line has had its challenges in recent times, and I intend to take a different approach on this route. From 2020 the East Coast Partnership will run the intercity trains and track operations on the east coast main line. This partnership between the public and private sector will operate under one management and a single brand, overseen by a single leader, with a leading role in planning the future route infrastructure. Bringing the perspective of train operators into decisions on rail infrastructure will help ensure that passenger needs are better represented in the process. While we run a competition to appoint the East Coast Partnership members, we are in discussions with the existing East Coast franchise operator to ensure that the needs of passengers and taxpayers are met in the short term while laying the foundations for the reforms I have just outlined. I want the passenger to be central to train operators’ strategies. On some parts of the network, that will mean we will introduce smaller train companies.
I am today launching a consultation on the Great Western franchise, to seek views on how it can best meet the needs of passengers and communities in the 2020s and beyond. We want to establish whether it should be retained in its current form or divided into smaller parts with a more local focus, to best deliver for customers. We will also begin the process of splitting up the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise in 2021. When the two franchises were put together, it was intended that this would help the implementation of the £6 billion Thameslink upgrade investment programme, which is now near completion.
Despite the improvements in the railway since privatisation, we are still some way from achieving the modern, high-performance, low-cost and customer-focused industry we all want to see. That is why we must continue to reform and invest in the railway, and maximise the contribution that public and private sectors make to improving services. We must continue to deliver the biggest railways investment since the steam age, which the party opposite never did when it was in government. Getting to grips with industry structure will go hand in hand with investment in the infrastructure. We need new capacity to cope with growing demand and new links to support economic growth and housing development.
The Great North Rail Project is transforming journeys across the north. There will be faster, more comfortable journeys, new direct services and room for tens of thousands more passengers. Every single train replaced in the north of England is new or brand new—again, a change we never saw when the party opposite was in power. I now intend to invest around £3 billion in upgrading the trans-Pennine route to deliver faster journey times and improved capacity between the great cities of Leeds, York and Manchester.
In the south, flagship projects such as Crossrail and Thameslink are now coming on stream to provide the capacity to underpin economic growth. Our investment in HS2 will bring the north and south closer together, and bring benefits for people across the country. It is a new railway for a new era of rail—a bold and ambitious project. But if it were not for the ambition and faith in the power of rail to transform this country, we would have no railways at all.
Our vision rejects the mentality of decline that characterised the railway in the second half of the 20th century. To complement record levels of private investment, we recently announced government funding of up to £34.7 billion for the railway in the years 2019 to 2024, as part of an overall expected spend of around £47.9 billion. This will support an overhaul of the network’s ageing assets and other vital work and improvements. Passengers value reliability more than anything, and this commitment will help deliver that. We will also deliver new connections. We are establishing the East West Rail company to restore the lost rail link between Oxford and Cambridge—lost to passengers in 1967—and provide a major boost to the region. I expect construction work to begin next summer. We will look at other opportunities to restore capacity lost under the Beeching and British Rail cuts of the 1960s and 1970s where they unlock development and growth, offer value for money and, in particular, unlock the potential for housing.
Large projects and industry reform take time, but passengers want to see faster improvements in their day- to-day experience travelling on the railway. We do, too —and we are doing something about it. We are pushing to see smart ticketing available across almost all of the network by the end of 2018. We are improving arrangements for compensation and dispute resolution when things go wrong, including supporting the establishment of a passenger ombudsman. We are working with industry to extend the benefits of discounted rail travel to ensure that all those aged 16 to 30 can access appropriate concessions. We are investing in new digital technologies and better mobile connectivity, and are committed to improving the accessibility of the network and delivering a modern customer experience, open to all.
I know that the party opposite does not believe this, but privatisation brought a revolution to our railways. That is why there are twice as many passengers as there were 20 years ago. But now is the time for evolution to build on that success by joining up track and train, expanding the network, modernising the customer experience and opening the railway for new innovation. We have a vision of a revitalised railway used to its full potential by a partnership between the public and private sectors, supporting people, communities and the economy. We are taking real action to make that vision a reality. I am making copies of the strategic vision available in the Libraries of both Houses, while the Great Western and South Eastern documents are now on the website of the Department for Transport. I commend this Statement to the House”.
My Lords, we debated this issue extensively in Committee and on Report, and I regret that I have been unable to convince noble Lords of the necessity of this provision as drafted.
The wording of the clause—which is why we are keen to include it rather than the amendment put forward by the noble Lord, Lord McNally—is consistent with that contained in Section 60(2) of the Civil Aviation Act 1982, the latter being a power to do anything,
“generally for regulating air navigation”.
A similar power arises under Section 11(1) of the Outer Space Act 1986 to enable the making of regulations generally for carrying that Act into effect. That is why we put forward the wording that we did in the Bill.
As noble Lords are well aware, there are a number of other regulation-making powers in the Bill, notably around security and safety. However, we need to ensure that we can regulate those wider matters relating to spaceflight and associated activities carried out in the UK that are not covered by the other powers. For example, this may include implementation of our international obligations relating to spaceflight arising from bilateral or multilateral treaties. We know from our experience in other sectors, such as aviation, that despite our best efforts there needs to be the flexibility to deal with any unexpected circumstances. The Government therefore remain convinced that this provision, as currently drafted, is needed to ensure that all aspects of the Bill can be fully implemented effectively.
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My Lords, I thank all those involved for their interest in, engagement with and scrutiny of the Bill over the past few months. The UK space industry is a British success story—a story of invention, innovation and global ambition. The Bill will take us further, enabling new satellite launch services and low-gravity spaceflight from UK spaceports, and supporting our industrial strategy to deliver a stronger economy that works for everyone.
I thank my predecessor, my noble friend Lord Callanan, who took the Bill through its early stages, and I thank the noble Lords, Lord Rosser, Lord Tunnicliffe, Lord McNally, and Lord Fox, and the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, who provided rigorous scrutiny throughout this process. I am grateful for the contributions of my noble friend Lord Moynihan; I, for one, will miss the strong advocacy for a certain location in Scotland. Finally, I thank policy officials and lawyers from the UK Space Agency, the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for their work on the Bill.
It has been a privilege to debate the Bill with noble Lords, whose knowledge and expertise I have found incredibly helpful. We have taken on many of the recommendations of the DPRRC and the Constitution Committee, and I thank them for their work. The constructive engagement, conversations and debates we have had together have led to significant improvements to the Bill. This is an example of this House at its best, where proper scrutiny and challenge can—put simply—lead to a better Bill. Today, therefore, we stand one step closer to a new commercial space age, and I beg to move.
My Lords, I am afraid that I cannot answer that question directly. We are exploring the possibility of restricting drone use near airports and are looking at a combination of primary and secondary legislation. I will attempt to clarify that and write to the noble Lord.
I can confirm that yes, it was indeed possible to fly across the Channel, and we look forward to continuing to do so.
I am afraid I am not able to give that commitment to the noble Lord today. How sectors are discussed will of course be a matter for the negotiations, but of course we recognise that traditionally aviation agreements have been negotiated separately. For our part, we are ready to move on with the negotiations.
My Lords, I start by thanking noble Lords for their contributions, and in particular my noble friend Lord Framlingham for giving us the opportunity to discuss this most important issue, the largest infrastructure project in Europe.
Your Lordships will know that I am a relative newcomer to this subject. I recognise the extensive knowledge and experience of noble Lords here today. I have listened to the criticisms of the project by many and welcome the expressions of support. I do not expect my response to satisfy my noble friend Lord Framlingham, as I am well aware of his long-standing views, but I hope to set out the Government’s assessment of the impacts of HS2 on the economy and the environment.
HS2 will transform the railways in this country, but of course I recognise its significant cost. The duty of this Government, and indeed this Parliament, is to ensure that we deliver good value for money for the British taxpayer. HS2 is not just about speed; it is about capacity, connectivity and supporting economic growth.
Our trains are becoming increasingly crowded. HS2 will form the new backbone of our national rail network, providing new capacity and better connecting our major cities. Good rail links bring our country closer together, and HS2 will help improve productivity and lead to a stronger, more balanced economy capable of delivering lasting economic growth and prosperity. Furthermore, people will not need to travel on HS2 to feel the benefits. Moving intercity services on to HS2 will free up space on our existing railways for new commuter, regional and freight services. This will create better connections and thousands more seats for passengers, and of course it will allow more goods to be moved by rail, helping to reduce congestion on the roads.
I turn to the impact on the economy of HS2 and will refer, first, to the important issue of jobs, referred to by many noble Lords. Around 25,000 jobs will be created during the construction, as well as 2,000 apprenticeships. Three thousand people will be employed on maintaining and operating the railway, and the investment around HS2 stations is expected to support 100,000 jobs. This is not just about when the new railway opens; jobs and skills are being created now. Several major contracts, worth over £7 billion, have already been awarded for the enabling and civil engineering works required to build phase 1. These contracts alone are expected to support 16,000 jobs and to generate thousands of indirect contract opportunities for the supply chain. HS2 is working with businesses, trade associations and local stakeholders across the UK, including many small and medium-sized firms, to ensure that they are ready to be involved.
HS2 is also about upskilling. A more skilled workforce is vital for the country. The National College for High Speed Rail, based in Doncaster and Birmingham, will open its doors later this year. The college will train young people to build HS2 and to work on other world-leading rail projects.
I now turn to the question of costs, which, understandably, is of concern to your Lordships’ House. The noble Lord, Lord Snape, raised the possibility of alternative schemes. At an earlier stage in the process, a number of strategic options were considered, but the decision was then made that none of the alternatives presented a better outcome—a point that the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, acknowledged. They would not deliver the same scale of benefits as HS2. We are already upgrading the existing network, but this alone would never deliver the same level of capacity or journey time savings as HS2. As the noble Lord, Lord Snape, explained, it would be extremely disruptive to rail passengers, effectively closing key parts of the rail network for many years.
The current approach was decided and agreed by Parliament, and we must progress it. The Government’s responsibility is now to ensure that the project is delivered on budget and that it represents good value for money. The 2015 spending review reconfirmed the Government’s commitment to HS2, setting a long-term funding envelope of £55.7 billion. The Government are determined, and are on course, to deliver HS2 within this.
We have set HS2 Ltd ambitious targets which would see the programme delivered below the total funding envelope. For example, the Secretary of State has set target design costs reflecting internationally efficient benchmarks to incentivise HS2 Ltd and its contractors to deliver phase 2 below budget.
Many noble Lords have raised the issue of proper scrutiny. I share their desire to ensure that all our costings are accurate. The cost estimates are determined by industry experts, informed by international standards. We expect public scrutiny and have invited independent assurance and examination of HS2 Ltd’s cost estimates. They are examined periodically by the Commons Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office, and are regularly reviewed by the Secretary of State.
The noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, made a number of points on the importance of clarifying the costs. We have recently published the financial costs as part of the HS2 business case, which I believe is an uncommon step. I know that the Rail Minister will come back to the noble Lord on the points that he has raised with him.
My noble friend Lord Framlingham asked about an independent Treasury review, but as he would expect, the project is already subject to an ongoing rigorous programme of external assurance reviews. The terms of reference for each assurance review are developed with the Treasury and the infrastructure and project authority, with reviews conducted by independent project delivery experts. Given this ongoing scrutiny by the Treasury, the Government do not believe that an independent review is necessary.
Many noble Lords have raised the benefits that HS2 will bring to the north. Economic growth in the north has been constrained by poor connectivity between cities. HS2 will help address this, making it easier for businesses to choose to locate in our great northern and Midlands cities. The majority of benefits from HS2 will be enjoyed in these places, outside of London. HS2 improves journey times between London and the north, but also transforms connectivity between many of our largest cities in the Midlands, the north and in Scotland. We are also committed to northern powerhouse rail—our vision for improving even further journey times and service frequencies between major cities in the north of England. Far from competing with it, HS2 is essential to delivering this vision. The Chancellor announced at conference £300 million of funding to future proof HS2 to accommodate northern powerhouse rail junctions. The Government have also provided Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, the east Midlands and Crewe with funding to develop HS2 growth strategies. They should act as a catalyst for growth and aim to maximise opportunities for new homes and employment.
We want HS2 to be more environmentally responsible than any other major infrastructure project in UK history. Despite it being one of the largest construction projects in Europe, we are committed to reducing its effects on the countryside and on communities. HS2 will play a key part in the UK’s future low-carbon transport system and support the Government’s overall carbon objectives. Noble Lords will be aware that in comparison with most other transport modes high-speed rail offers some of the lowest carbon emissions per passenger kilometre, significantly less than cars and planes. Of course, such a major project requires significant works—a point that many of your Lordships have raised today. We are fully aware of the potential detrimental effect this can have on the environment, so are doing all we can to mitigate it.
The route was designed to minimise environmental impacts wherever possible—the noble Lord, Lord Jones of Cheltenham, highlighted the environmental work that we are doing. We will create a network of new wildlife habitats along the HS2 route. This includes around 7 million new trees and shrubs in the first phase of the railway. We expect to plant the first of these trees this winter, with more than 100,000 new trees in the West Midlands area. In phase 1, we are creating nearly three times as much new woodland as the non-ancient woodland affected by HS2. Of course, ancient woodland is irreplaceable. Although we cannot fully compensate all impacts, we have committed to using best-practice measures such as enhancing linkages between woodlands, reusing ancient woodland soils and creating new mixed deciduous woodland. Over time, we will create a green corridor of connected wildlife habitats which will blend the railway into the landscape and support local species. In addition, we are keen to go beyond the immediate boundaries of the railway and take this opportunity to improve the wider natural environment, in partnership with local people. For example, we have introduced the £5 million HS2 woodland fund to help local landowners create new native, broadleaf woodlands and restore existing ancient woodland sites.
The noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, made a number of points on hybrid Bills and the property bond scheme. I will have to read them carefully in Hansard and come back to him.
My noble friend Lord Framlingham asked about monitoring construction activity. HS2 Ltd has an extensive monitoring programme, and a code of construction practice for the scheme will set clear requirements for meeting environmental targets and minimising impacts.
Moving on to the effect this will have on communities, as mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, we recognise that the construction of HS2 is not always welcome. We have, however, tried to design the route as far as possible to avoid or reduce negative impacts such as the demolition of properties, excessive noise and impacts on our landscape and natural environments. The Government are committed to ensuring that people feel the widest benefits of the new railway and to compensating those directly impacted.
The noble Lord, Lord Rosser, asks whether the Government will be taking a keen interest in having conversations with communities throughout the project, and I can assure him that we will do that. The noble Lord also asked about electrification. As the Secretary of State explained at the time, the decision to cancel the planned electrification schemes, including on the midland main line between Kettering and Sheffield, was made to deliver benefits to passengers sooner than would otherwise be possible.
The noble Lord, Lord Framlingham, asked about the departmental response to the report from the group of academics. I understand that some of the report’s authors have written to the DfT over the years and Ministers have responded to their queries and concerns, including many of the issues raised in the report.
I have endeavoured to address as many of the points raised as I can, but where I have not been able to do so I will write to noble Lords. More people are travelling on our railways than ever: since privatisation the number of passenger journeys has more than doubled, almost tripling in key intercity corridors. That is why we need HS2. While alternatives have been extensively considered, they do not provide the required capacity and would be too disruptive to the existing rail network.
I am sure that my response has not satisfied my noble friend Lord Framlingham, but the approach to HS2 has been decided and agreed by Parliament. Our job is now to ensure the successful delivery and cost effectiveness of phase 1. Your Lordships will, of course, have an opportunity to scrutinise and debate the phase 2A Bill after its passage through the Commons.
Our plan is to build a stronger, fairer country with an economy that works for everyone—one in which wealth and opportunity are spread across the country. Investment in economic infrastructure, in which HS2 plays an integral role, is a key part of this long-term vision.
My Lords, the UK space industry is a global success story. I am grateful for the productive debate we had in Committee, which will ensure the Bill puts this country at the forefront of new space services.
The Government continue to invest in the success of the UK space sector—for example, we recently invested more than £100 million in new satellite test facilities at Harwell, and manufacture and test facilities for rocket engines at Westcott in Buckinghamshire. As we discussed, another measure of our support to the UK space sector will be through our negotiations with the EU on future collaboration on the EU space programmes. The UK has played a major part in developing the main EU space programmes, Galileo and Copernicus, which have supported the rapid growth of the UK space sector and contributed directly to our prosperity and security. We are working to ensure we get the best deal with the EU to support strong growth in the sector. Last month, the Government published a science and innovation discussion paper and an external security discussion paper. Both set out the Government’s wish to discuss options for future arrangements in the EU space programmes.
My noble friend Lord Moynihan asked about continued support for the space industry. The European Space Agency programmes will continue to play an important role in delivering the UK national space objectives and, in December last year, the UK negotiated an investment of more than €1.4 billion over the next five years in ESA space initiatives. This sustained investment, alongside our industrial strategy, will ensure that we build on the strengths of the UK’s growing space industry. The UK’s membership of the European Space Agency will not be affected by the UK leaving the EU.
The Government hold a mix of qualitative and quantitative analysis of the impact of leaving the EU on sectors of the UK economy, including the UK’s space industry. This is contained in a range of documents developed at different times since the referendum. The analysis in this area is constantly evolving and being updated based on our regular discussions with industry and our negotiations with the EU. As the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU said in his Written Statement on 7 November, the intention is to provide this information to the Exiting the EU Select Committee as soon as possible, and within three weeks of the date of that Statement.
My noble friend Lord Callanan has confirmed to the House that we anticipate sharing the same information on the same basis with the Lords EU Committee as with the House of Commons Select Committee, subject to our being able to agree the terms of that disclosure. Given that this evidence will be published in the coming weeks, I ask the noble Lord to withdraw Amendment 1.
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My Lords, I recognise noble Lords’ concerns that there are currently no specific provisions in the Bill regarding the environmental impacts of spaceports and spaceflight activities on local communities, particularly in relation to noise and emissions. However, Clause 2 requires the regulator to take into account the environmental objectives set by the Government. I know that some noble Lords have raised concerns that future objectives cannot be predicted—indeed, the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, raised that again today—but the inclusion of that requirement was intended to promote environmental protection, as the regulator will have to take account of existing guidance, such as Defra’s air quality plan.
As noble Lords will be aware, there already exists a comprehensive body of environmental and planning legislation that spaceports and spaceflight operators will need to comply with independently of the requirements under the Bill. For example, an environmental impact assessment may be required for airport-related development under Schedule 2 to the environmental impact assess