Renfrewshire Council may receive new powers after The Transport (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament.
Powers include prohibiting double parking, parking on pavements and the flexibility to improve bus services. If there is a good case for doing so, the new law will allow Renfrewshire Council to run the required bus services themselves.
The proposed new law aims are to make Scotland’s transportation network cleaner, smarter and more accessible than before. It will empower local authorities to establish consistent standards in order to tackle current and future challenges.
SNP Councillor for Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank, Natalie Don has welcomed this Bill, she told Renfrewshire News: “After the problems we have seen in recent months with our bus services across Renfrewshire, this Bill is welcome and could be just what we need to start improving our local transport services again.
“Over the past few months we have seen bus services cut from almost every area in Renfrewshire despite the efforts and opposition from many local people, communities and elected members. In Bridge of Weir, residents no longer have a direct bus service into Paisley, the largest town in Renfrewshire, with inadequate link up services and no alternatives in place. This has left many people unable to commute to work and has made life much more difficult for many people.”
“I am really pleased to see that some of the proposed measures in the bill include providing increased flexibility for local authorities to improve bus services or, where appropriate, running services themselves.
“In Renfrewshire, local people have been disillusioned by the lack of say they have in their local bus services and these steps show the SNP Scottish Government’s willingness to listen to local people and their continued commitment to community empowerment.”
Main Photo (top of page): Cllr Natalie Don, back in February, vowed to fight bus service cuts from McGill’s Buses in her ward
Photo: SNP Cllr Kenny MacLaren, Paisley Northwest has featured in Renfrewshire News twice within a year regarding complaints made to him from residents in his ward over parking on pavements.
Councillor hits out at selfish drivers who block pavements – 1st September 2017
Councillor condemns pavement parking in Paisley – 28th March 2018
Councillor Kenny MacLaren, said “The Transport (Scotland) Bill includes new powers for local councils to allow them to seriously tackle the scourge of parking on pavements.
“The new legislation once enacted will tighten up the laws around pavement parking making it easier to tackle pavement parking, passing powers to community wardens to issue fines.
“Too many drivers park irresponsibly, causing problems for those who have mobility problems and then have to face walking on the road to get past the vehicle blocking the pavement.
“The Transport (Scotland) Bill still has to go through the full parliamentary process but I know many residents and communities within Paisley will welcome the powers to finally tackle irresponsible and antisocial drivers.”
Proposed measures in the Bill include:
- Providing local authorities and Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) with the flexibility to improve bus services through partnership working with operators or, where there is a good case for doing so, local franchising or running services themselves
- Enabling the creation and decriminalised enforcement of Low Emission Zones
- Prohibiting double parking and parking on pavements and giving local authorities the powers needed to enforce this important change
- Standardising smart ticketing technology to ensure compatibility, and setting in place an advisory body to best support interoperable Scotland-wide smart ticketing
- Strengthening the powers of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner in order to better regulate road works
- Allowing RTPs to build up and carry appropriate financial reserves
- Giving Scottish Ministers powers to enhance the board structure of Scottish Canals to strengthen its capacity to support economic regeneration.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf, said: “The Transport Bill reflects a period of significant public consultation and engagement. It responds to the views of passengers and stakeholders by providing local authorities and RTPs with the tools to address local needs.
“This government will not stand by as bus passenger numbers decline. Partnership is at the centre of our proposals, with a new model for local authorities to work with bus operators to revitalise services. We are also providing clearer options for authorities to pursue local franchising or provide services themselves in appropriate circumstances.
“Beyond bus services, this Bill will allow for decriminalised enforcement of Low Emission Zones, double parking and parking on pavements. This will help transform our towns and cities into cleaner, more accessible and more pleasant spaces to travel and enjoy. By strengthening the technology and governance which underpins smart ticketing, people will be able to move between our cities with greater ease and convenience.
“The Bill will also further increase the safety and efficiency of road works to help keep our traffic flowing. We are supporting regeneration along our canals and ensuring the future of the network by strengthening governance and we are also bolstering the ability of RTPs to manage larger projects.
“By empowering local authorities and continuing to work in partnership with transport operators, we will continue to develop a cleaner, smarter public transport system with improved connectivity, accessibility and greater economic benefits for all of Scotland.”