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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 Pauline McNeill Pauline McNeill Labour

I do not wish to detain members unnecessarily, but I do not think that we have had answers to some of the questions that I asked, such as in relation to land owners who give permission.

I take Murdo Fraser’s point about the statutory code of practice, but we do not yet know whether it will deal with rogue companies. Legislation was taken through Westminster, but my point is that separate legislation should also be taken through the Scottish Parliament. We should remember that the charges exceed local authority charges—I have seen charges of £80 or £90.

As the cabinet secretary said, keeper liability already exists, but that is in our public and criminal law. We are being asked to give private companies the power to use the concept of keeper liability. Neil Findlay was absolutely right that some people inadvertently park in contravention of the rules. I know people who did not realise that parking at 9 o’clock in a town centre on a dark night when everybody else had gone was a contravention of a parking notice. Will the code of practice deal with that? I would like to know for sure.

I will go back to points that Elaine Smith and Jackie Baillie made. It is not clear what the bill means by “conveniently”. I read that straightforwardly. I do not understand how the cabinet secretary can clarify the meaning of something when he did not actually write the provision—it was written by Murdo Fraser. It seems to be odd that the cabinet secretary can clarify that when the Government has done no scrutiny of the provisions.

Must a record be shown? Perhaps at some point the cabinet secretary will say whether creditors will be required to show what efforts they have made to find the drivers. I would have been happier if we could at least have inserted something like that.