Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee backs general principles of transport bill

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 7 March 2019 in News

But MSPs called for greater clarity on how some of the measures will operate in practice, while expressing concern over its potential financial impact on local authorities

Image credit: Press Association

The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee has endorsed the general principles of the Transport (Scotland) Bill in its stage one report.

The bill includes plans to create Low Emission Zones (LEZs), new options for more flexibility in the provision of bus services, smart ticketing, a ban on pavement and double parking, provisions on road works, the financing of regional transport partnerships and changes to the governance of Scotland’s canals.

But while the MSPs recommended the bill to parliament, they also called for greater clarity on how some of the measures will operate in practice, while expressing concern over its potential financial impact on local authorities.

In examining the bill, the committee found there would need to be improvements in public transport provision and park and ride facilities for LEZs to be a success, while it also urged the Scottish Government to set a national minimum technical emissions standard for vehicles entering a LEZ.

The committee also warned the measures on bus service provision proposed in the bill may not be sufficient to address the underlying causes of falling bus use, and that the measures aimed at allowing councils to run their own bus services may not deliver the desired policy outcome, given few local authorities are likely to have the financial resources to take advantage of the options set out in the bill.

Calling on ministers to bring forward proposals for the development of a single ticket scheme operating across all modes and operators, the MSPs warned that as things stand “an opportunity has been missed to deliver a meaningful step change in integrated public transport provision in Scotland”.

The committee also called for clarity on the exemptions that will apply to its proposals on parking, as well for the 20-minute exemption for deliveries and loading to be removed from the bill.

Committee convener Edward Mountain said: “Having listened to a wide-range of evidence from stakeholders and individuals, the committee supports the general principles of the bill which considers a number of different transport elements, including smart ticketing, Low Emission Zones, pavement parking restrictions and tools intended to help improve bus services.

“However, greater clarity is required on a number of issues as the bill continues its parliamentary passage.”



Related Articles

The High Road: The Highlands since devolution
17 April 2019

Separated from the seats of power by more than just mere geography, what has devolution done for the Highlands to close the gap?

Environment committee to hear from young climate change protestors
29 March 2019

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will also appear in front of the committee ahead of a stage one debate on the climate change bill

Edinburgh council approves network of on-street electric vehicle charging hubs
7 March 2019

The network, which will be made up of 66 on-street charging points across 14 hubs, is part of the council’s electric vehicle infrastructure business case

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Associate feature: The age of the multi-cloud is here
7 May 2019

BT explores how to manage the risks and rewards of the cloud in their infographic guide, offering advice for ensuring that the challenges don't hold you back 

Associate feature: Balance the risk and reward of the cloud
29 April 2019

A global cloud infrastructure offers many potential benefits, but also many challenges, and every organisation’s hybrid cloud strategy is unique. BT presents practical advice on getting the most...

Associate feature: Clouds are secure, are you using them securely?
23 April 2019

BT presents a complimentary copy of Gartner's report, which highlights how, through 2022, at least 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer's fault

Share this page