Infrastructure Bill: Lords consideration of changes

10 February 2015

The Infrastructure Bill returned to the House of Lords on Monday 9 February for consideration of Commons' changes.

Members of the Lords agreed a new section of the bill should be added to set a cycling and walking investment strategy. They also discussed fracking, looking at the conditions and safeguards that should be in place for it to be carried out.

The bill now returns to the Commons for consideration of remaining Lords’ changes.

Infrastructure Bill: Lords third reading

Peers began by discussing the role and responsibilities of a strategic highways company, particularly in relation to the environment, safety and cooperation with related stakeholders.

Members of the Lords spoke about plans to release surplus public sector land to the Homes and Communities Agency, and how the public forest estate could be protected as part of this. They also discussed laws around the ‘right to use’ deep level land to extract shale gas.

The Infrastructure Bill now returns to the Commons' for consideration of Lords amendments.

Lords report stage day three: Monday 10 November

Peers began by discussing hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas (fracking). An amendment to introduce new regulations around fracking went to a vote with 141 for and 237 against, so the change was not made.

Lords also discussed revenue from shale gas, renewable heat incentives and the impact of infrastructure spending.

Third reading, a final chance to amend the bill, is scheduled for 19 November.

Infrastructure Bill: Lords report stage day two

Members of the Lords began by discussing an amendment proposing to set up a ‘National Infrastructure Commission’, to carry out an assessment of the UK’s infrastructure needs over a span of 25 to 30 years. The amendment went to a vote with 195 for and 235 against.

Peers looked at a range of other subjects, including the essential features for new towns, and ways the Public Forest Estate can be protected.

A third day of report stage is scheduled for 10 November.

Infrastructure Bill: Lords report stage day one

Members of the Lords discussed a range of subjects. They began by asking whether a public sector rail operator should be able to take on lines and challenge the current train operators, this proposed change went to a vote with 192 for and 229 against, so it was not made.

Peers then discussed road infrastructure and safety. An amendment proposing that road safety performance and improvement of the road infrastructure safety rating should be overseen by the Office of Rail Regulation went to a vote, with 165 for and 235 against, so the change was not made.

Peers also discussed investment in roads and the establishment of a strategic highways company.

A second day of report stage is scheduled for 5 November.

Infrastructure Bill grand committee stage

The Infrastructure Bill spent seven days in grand committee in the Moses Room. The process is almost identical to committee stage taken in the chamber as members carry out a detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of a bill.

Starting from the front of the bill, members work through to the end. Any member of the Lords can take part. The single exception is that votes do not take place in a grand committee. Any issues requiring a vote must be resolved when the bill returns to the main chamber for report stage. 

3 July (day 1)

8 July (day 2)

10 July (day 3)

15 July (day 4)

17 July (day 5)

22 July (day 6)

14 October (day 7)

Infrastructure Bill second reading: Wednesday 18 June

Transport minister, Baroness Kramer (Liberal Democrat), introduced the bill as one which will promote investment in the UK's national infrastructure - including transport, energy and land development.

In the wide-ranging debate that followed, members of the Lords expressed concern that adequate delivery mechanisms would exist for the many diverse projects covered in the bill. Peers also sought assurances that sufficient time would be allocated for the bill to be closely scrutinised.

Infrastructure Bill summary

The Infrastructure Bill makes provision for the government’s proposals to fund, plan, manage and maintain the UK’s national infrastructure.

It includes a diverse range of measures, including:

  • strategic highways companies and the funding of transport services by land 
  • control of invasive non-native species;
  • reform of planning law
  • provision for nationally significant infrastructure projects
  • giving members of communities the right to buy stakes in local renewable electricity generation facilities.

Further information

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