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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 Murdo Fraser Murdo Fraser Conservative

I was not intending to speak on group 25, but such has been the sound and fury—and wilful ignorance—of Labour members on the issue, that it is worth making a brief comment on it.

I do not need any lessons about dealing with unscrupulous car parking companies—hundreds of constituents have contacted me about the issue over the past four or five years, which is what led me to run a member’s bill consultation on how the law in that area might be improved. The consultation suggested five reforms, all of which had majority support from all those who responded. I welcomed the opportunity to work with the Scottish Government to insert some of the reforms into the Transport (Scotland) Bill, which is the appropriate vehicle, given that the public had already been consulted on the issues.

What Pauline McNeill seems to have missed—the point was made by the transport secretary a moment ago—is that in tandem with the bill, we have Sir Greg Knight’s private member’s bill at Westminster, which has become the Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019. That act had unanimous support at Westminster—including from the Labour Party—and has introduced a statutory code of practice for private car parking companies. That means that, for the first time, private companies that do not adhere to the statutory code of practice will not be able to access from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency the records that they require to enforce notices. That is the important and essential point.