Transport Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 9th November 2000.

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Photo of Lord Dixon-Smith Lord Dixon-Smith Conservative 6:45 pm, 9th November 2000

My Lords, I am most grateful to my noble friend Lord Mackay for his support in this matter. I am also, surprisingly perhaps, grateful for the reply of the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh, although I do not agree with it. I would not suggest that England should slavishly follow anyone--if one may refer to "England" rather than "the United Kingdom". I still think of myself as being British and I find the distinction difficult. This is devolution. I can understand that some English local authorities might well be seduced by what appears to be an attractive idea, but it has some fairly severe downsides.

I did not mention the question of the speed limit legislation specifically to draw a parallel with it, but merely to emphasise that there are points at which consultation and the views of other parts of the United Kingdom have to be taken into account. In all government administration and in all politics one needs to be well aware of the perspective of what one is doing. The question is whether this idea, which is deemed appropriate elsewhere, might be deemed appropriate here also. The Minister has not given a sufficient answer to whether this part of the Bill is as all-singingly, all-dancingly good as he would like it to be.