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Local Transport Act 2008

Volume 715: debated on Thursday 19 November 2009


My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Clark) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

Following the completion of our public consultation, we have today published guidance from the Secretary of State to the senior traffic commissioner. The senior traffic commissioner is appointed under Section 4D of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981, as inserted by the Local Transport Act 2008. The publication of the guidance follows a formal consultation, and the department’s summary of responses has also been published today.

The new guidance represents an important step in the implementation of reforms to the traffic commissioner regime, provided for by the Local Transport Act 2008, which attracted broad support during the passage of the Bill. In particular, there was wide support for the appointment of a senior traffic commissioner and the proposed strengthened independence for traffic commissioners. This is achieved in part by replacing powers for the Secretary of State to issue directions to individual traffic commissioners with a power to issue guidance to the senior traffic commissioner.

The aim of the new guidance is to highlight issues and outcomes which the Secretary of State regards as key, and to provide guidance to the senior traffic commissioner as to how he might exercise his powers in relation to those issues. We expect that the senior traffic commissioner will want to issue a formal response to the new guidance in due course.

Copies of the guidance and summary of responses have been placed in the House Libraries and are available at trafficcommissioner/.