Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution, Derek Mackay MSP, introduced this government Bill on 8 June 2018. As the Bill has just been introduced, it still has to make its way through the Scottish Parliament before it becomes law – this means there will be opportunity for scrutiny of the Bill in Committees, and there will be debates in the main chamber of Holyrood. So there is still lots of room to influence the final Bill.
The bill is quite wide ranging, the areas of most interest to rural communities will be where the Bill aims:
- to make provision for low emission zones – this would only be in place in city centres, but impacts would be felt by all who travel through city centres. Local authorities will have powers to define this
- to make provision for and in connection with the powers of local transport authorities in connection with the operation of local bus services in their areas – this will affect who operates bus services across rural Scotland and give greater autonomy to local government.
- to make provision about arrangements under which persons may be entitled to travel on local bus and other transport services – ‘smart ticketing’ is coming; it is hoped that this should make traveling using multiple modes and operators of public transport easier if
- to prohibit the parking of vehicles on pavements and prohibit double parking – the legislation may also allow for local variance in certain circumstances.