As the hon. Gentleman said, his amendment would put in place a specific statutory requirement for local transport authorities to consider the views of town and parish councils when developing and implementing their transport policies. I have said that consultation is already an integral part of the development of the local transport plan process. Local transport authorities already consult many interested and affected groups when developing local transport plans, including key delivery partners, such as town and parish councils. Moreover, the clause requires local transport authorities to consult on local transport plans. The only consultees specified by name are certain other local authorities, and the Secretary of State. However, it is also specified that local transport authorities must consult any “such other persons as” they consider appropriate.
As I have said, we intend to develop guidance for local authorities in preparation for the next round of local transport plans. I am sure that other hon. Members share the hon. Gentleman’s views, and in areas where it is appropriate to consult parish and town councils, we want that to happen.