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Written Statements

Volume 713: debated on Friday 23 October 2009

Written Statements

Friday 23 October 2009

National Assembly for Wales (Legislative Competence) (Education) Order 2010

Statement

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to inform the House that the proposed National Assembly for Wales (Legislative Competence) (Education) Order 2010 has been laid today as Command Paper (Cm 7728). Copies of this can be found in the Printed Paper Office and will be placed in the Library from 12 noon. I have written to the House of Lords Constitutional Committee and to the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee to request they undertake pre-legislative scrutiny.

Transport: Prison Vans

Statement

At the time of providing the Answer to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay on 5 October (Official Report, col. WA 386), my officials’ understanding was that in January 2009, Transport for London (TfL) had agreed with our prisoner escort contractor, that seven-cell vehicles had approval to use bus lanes.

Since then Mayor Boris Johnson (on behalf TfL) has written to explain that this agreement is no longer correct. TfL has reconsidered the matter and now advise that seven-cell prison vans do not have permission to use bus lanes. TfL’s reason for this is that seven-cell vehicles do not meet the necessary criteria, in order to define them as a “bus”. These vehicles are therefore subject to a penalty charge if they do enter bus lanes. This also applies to six-cell prison vehicles.

Transport for London has agreed that the 14 and 12-cell prisoner escort vehicles have permission to use these lanes. These vehicles deliver a high priority service to courts and prison. They are also classed as mini buses and are able to use these lanes. Further discussions are taking place with Transport for London and the High Sheriff to ascertain whether the prisoner escort contractor's smaller six-cell vehicle can also use the lanes.