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Transport Act 2000

Sections 215 to 218: Functions of Franchising Director, Regulator and Board

216.Section 215 and Schedule 16 transfer to the Authority all the functions, property, rights and liabilities of the Franchising Director (including any rights and liabilities relating to staff appointed by the Franchising Director). Once this transfer is effected the office of the Franchising Director will be abolished and the Schedule makes the necessary amendments to the 1993 Act and other enactments.

217.Section 216 and Schedule 17 address a criticism of the current regulatory system that there is no clear division between the respective roles of the Rail Regulator and the Franchising Director in relation to the consumer. The Act transfers responsibilities for consumer protection to the Authority as the successor to the Franchising Director. The types of matters which are considered consumer protection include telephone enquiries, through ticketing, security, the protection of the interests of disabled people and penalty fares.

218.Where the protection of consumers is secured through a licence the Authority will be responsible for the content of the licence as it relates to consumer protection (through being able to refuse the grant of a licence which does not make adequate provision for the protection of consumers), for the enforcement and modification of consumer protection provisions in a licence (as regards modification only if the Regulator also approves) and for the revocation of a licence where the licensee is in persistent contravention of these provisions. However, when it is exercising this responsibility the Authority will be under the same duties and will need to have regard to the same considerations as the Regulator.

219.For existing licences the Secretary of State may make a scheme which has the effect of separating out those parts of the licence which relates to consumer protection and enabling them to be enforced by the Authority. For new licences the split will be made in the licence when it is granted.

220.Schedule 17 also transfers the administrative responsibility for the Rail Users’ Consultative Committees and the Central Rail Users’ Consultative Committee to the Authority (which are renamed in section 227 – see below). The Authority will inherit the Regulator’s code of practice for protecting the interests of disabled railway users and the duty to revise it from time to time and encourage its adoption and implementation. The Authority will inherit the Rail Regulator’s power to make rules for penalty fares.

221.The final part of Schedule 17 allows the Secretary of State to make schemes to transfer property, rights a liabilities (including any rights and liabilities relating staff appointed by the Rail Regulator) from the Rail Regulator to the Authority. This will provide the administrative support for the Authority to take on these previous functions of the Regulator.

222.Section 217 and Schedule 18 transfer functions of the BRB in relation to the British Transport Police (“BTP”) to the Authority, with associated property, rights and liabilities. Provision for the transfer of staff in made. Section 207 is disapplied in relation to the Authority’s BTP functions because these provisions are not appropriate to police functions. Instead, the Authority has a general duty relating to efficiency and effectiveness.

223.Section 218 and Schedule 19 make provision for the transfer of all the other properties, rights and liabilities of the BRB to the Authority. Those which are not required by the Authority for railways purposes are to be disposed of and the Authority is permitted to maintain and manage property or to develop it for sale. Provision is made for the transfer of staff.

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