Scotland Bill — Third Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 21st March 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Dunlop Lord Dunlop The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland 3:45 pm, 21st March 2016

My Lords, I shall speak also to Amendments 11 to 16 and 19 to 21. As I indicated on Report, a number of technical amendments are necessary to the roads provisions. Amendments 10, 11, 13, 16 and 20 are technical amendments and complement the amendment that the Government brought forward on Report on the issue of responsible parking. That amendment, which commanded cross-party support on Report, gives the Scottish Parliament the power to legislate for parking vehicles on roads, an issue that is of interest to many people in Scotland. That amendment now appears in the Bill at Clause 40(4). Following helpful discussion between the Department for Transport and the Scottish Government, these technical amendments will bring full clarity to the power. I will briefly set out the effect of each of these amendments.

Amendments 10 and 11 amend the amendment made on Report, which gave power to the Scottish Parliament to make provision for parking on roads. Amendments 10 and 11 make clear that on-street parking is excepted from the reservation of the subject matter of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and is not a general exception from all road transport reservations.

Amendment 13 removes a reference to the regulations made by Scottish Ministers being subject to the negative procedure. The reference is unnecessary as it is subsequently replaced by Amendment 20, which amends the Road Traffic Act 1988 to stipulate that regulations relating to parking made by Scottish Ministers will be subject to the negative procedure.

Amendment 16 transfers the functions of the Secretary of State under the Road Traffic Act 1988 in relation to parking of vehicles on roads in Scotland to Scottish Ministers so far as is exercisable within their devolved competence. It does this by changing references to the Secretary of State to “national authority”, which for these purposes is Scottish Ministers. Amendment 16 also includes a provision that will require the Secretary of State for Transport to consult Scottish Ministers if making regulations relating to parking of vehicles on roads in Scotland.

I can assure the House that the amendments, while necessary, do not alter the substance of the policy. They do not provide any further powers but simply seek to ensure that the implementation of the powers is effective. As I explained on Report, irresponsible parking has been of concern to many people across Scotland, and I am glad that we have been able to bring clarity to the legal position.

Amendments 12, 14 and 15, to which I alluded on Report, ensure that the functions being transferred to Scottish Ministers in relation to speed limits and road signs in this Bill are aligned with the powers being transferred to the Scottish Parliament. They are also consistent with the functions being transferred to Scottish Ministers for parking. Amendment 19 preserves the effect of amendments previously made to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 by the Scotland Act 2012.

These amendments therefore ensure and clarify that the Secretary of State continues to be responsible for, for example, exempting vehicles used for the reserved purpose of defence from parking and speed limits and road signs in Scotland. The Secretary of State will need to consult Scottish Ministers before exempting such vehicles. Scottish Ministers will have powers to make provision by virtue of the Bill for road signs, parking and speed limit exemptions to the same extent that the Scottish Parliament can legislate for these same policy areas. Amendment 21 is a minor drafting correction to an amendment made on Report which will enable the Secretary of State to make provision in connection with reserved matters. I beg to move.