To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has considered the responses to his proposal for passenger transport authorities to bill their districts; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend and I have considered carefully all the views expressed by local authorities, their associations and others in response to my Department's discussion paper. Although most respondents disliked our proposals, they did so on the grounds that the proposals will lead to mass secession from PTAs by district councils; we do not consider this will happen but will treat any applications on their merits. Moreover, their response has confirmed our view that the proposal will deliver valuable gains in accountability. The Government, therefore, intend to introduce appropriate amendments to the Bill on Report to effect the change. I have today placed copies of the responses to the discussion paper in the Libraries of both Houses.