To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance on appropriate locations for the demonstrations project trials they have given to those companies short-listed to deliver any future road pricing schemes. [HL619]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultation they have undertaken with local authorities on the road pricing demonstrations project; and how they will consult those local authorities in which trials may take place. [HL620]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what powers local authorities have to permit the use of roads in their area for the road pricing demonstration project trials. [HL621]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they have given to those companies short-listed to deliver any future road pricing scheme on the scope of consultation they should undertake with local authorities when using their roads. [HL622]
The Government have not given any guidance to their contractors in the demonstrations project on where to carry out the road-user trials in the project. As part of the trials, the volunteers will be driving anywhere in England and Wales but we will also require a focus on the extent of driving within up to 15 local authority boundaries selected by the contractor, forming no more than two contiguous groups.
There are no powers for local authorities to permit or refuse permission for any legitimate use of roads for which they are responsible, including for research activity such as this.
As the actual location of the trial activity has no bearing on the results from the project, there is no reason for the Government to consult local authorities whose boundaries happen to be used for the project. Neither have we required that the contractors themselves should consult those local authorities.