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Transport (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 9th October 2019.

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Photo of Colin Smyth Colin Smyth Labour

All 15 amendments in the group are in my name and aim to improve transparency and accountability under the bill.

The bill will give ministers significant powers to introduce secondary legislation in a range of areas. Generally speaking, those powers are necessary for delivering the aims of the bill, and I am not opposed to their inclusion. However, we should be clear that those decisions should be taken following appropriate consultation. Most of the amendments in the group simply seek to put that commonsense responsibility in the bill.

Amendments 64 and 85 apply to ministerial guidance rather than to regulations, but serve a similar purpose. As the bill stands, local authorities will have a duty to “have regard to ... guidance” that is issued by ministers on LEZs and pavement parking. That is fair, because guidance will help to ensure consistency across the country. However, we should be clear that that action should be taken only after consultation: amendments 64 and 85 clarify that.

Amendment 120 would require ministers to publish any code of practice that they introduce as soon as possible. The bill will give ministers the power to introduce or approve a code of practice on safety measures relating to road works, but it does not make it clear that the code of practice should be published, or how it should be published. The amendment would make it clear that the code must be published, which would remove ambiguity from the bill and improve accountability in relation to the guidance that will be produced under part 5.

I move amendment 45.