Local Transport Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 22nd April 2008.

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Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (Yorkshire and the Humber), Minister of State (Department for Transport) 4:00 pm, 22nd April 2008

Like any guidance in such circumstances, if there were good reasons for divergence from the letter of the guidance in a particular case, the senior traffic commissioner may be able to do so. The idea of guidance is to guide, not to force in unreasonable circumstances. That is why we have tried to make a distinction from the previous situation where there were general directions that could have been more specific. What we want to achieve in the Bill, to assist with the issues of independence, is for the Secretary of State to be able to set parameters  for how the senior traffic commissioner should operate, but not to direct them. The senior traffic commissioner would then have greater powers to achieve a consistent approach and to be able to direct the work of other traffic commissioners, which at present can be done only by consent and agreement.