We propose that PTAs should bill their districts instead of precepting separately. The effect will make Tyne and Wear and other PTAs more accountable to their electorates. A paper was circulated for comments on 22 January, and I met the Association of Metropolitan Authorities on 2 March.
Are the Government aware of the concern about the proposals in Tyne and Wear? Do the Government agree that, following the abolition of the metropolitan county council and the introduction of deregulation, the latest proposals are the final death blow to the concept of integrated passenger transport in Tyne and Wear?
Nothing in the proposals should pose any threat to the degree of integration of transport in Tyne and Wear. They will make the provision of transport services by the PTA far more accountable than they are under the existing system. If the hon. Lady and the PTA are afraid of accountability, perhaps I understand what lies behind her question.