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Transport (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (Day 2)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 10th October 2019.

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Photo of Graham Simpson Graham Simpson Conservative

As you said, Presiding Officer, I speak on behalf of the committee.

Section 58N(1) was inserted at stage 2 and provides the Scottish ministers with the power to make provision to impose penalty charges connected with workplace parking licensing schemes. As the bill is currently drafted, such regulations would be scrutinised by the Parliament using the negative procedure. The Government has said that that form of procedure would be appropriate as the power is procedural and technical in nature. It added that it is equivalent to other powers relating to the penalties in the bill on low-emission zones and the parking prohibitions that are also subject to the negative procedure

The committee agrees with the Government that much of the detail of the power, which relates to

“the notification, payment, adjudication and enforcement of penalty charges”,

is better suited to the negative procedure.

However, part of the power in section 58N extends beyond merely technical and procedural matters; it includes the power to define the circumstances in which a penalty charge may be imposed. The power is therefore wider than the powers relating to penalties in respect of low-emission zones and the parking prohibitions, for which the circumstances in which a penalty would apply are set out in the bill. The ability to define in regulations the circumstances in which a penalty is payable is a substantive power, and as such it requires enhanced parliamentary scrutiny. The committee considers that the affirmative procedure is the most appropriate vehicle for this part of the power.