St David's Day brings transport devolution deal

 

The Welsh Government will receive a range of transport powers including control over bus service registration and speed limits, with potentially more in the pipeline, under the St David's Day devolution deal outlined by Westminster.

The package will devolve bus service registration powers adding them to currently devolved powers such as the regulation of concessionary fares and the ability to provide subsidies. Regulation of Welsh taxis will also be devolved.

The Government also agreed to devolve ports policy as it 'fits well with the existing responsibilities of the Assembly and the Welsh Government in areas such as economic development, transport and tourism'.

Absent from the package is a devolution deal on the crucial issue of the Severn Crossings, despite Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones and others arguing that the motorway bridges and their tolls should be controlled from Cardiff after the current operator’s concession ends in 2018.

'Based on current predictions, the Severn Crossings will return to public ownership in 2018, and the Government committed in its Road Investment Strategy (RIS) to work with the Welsh Government and others to determine the long-term future of the Crossings. Any future plans should both ensure the long-term maintenance of the bridges and provide the best support to the local economies in Wales and England,' the document states.

Launching the St David’s Day Agreement, prime minister David Cameron said: ‘This is about finding lasting settlements across the country to make our United Kingdom stronger and fairer. It means more responsibility for the Welsh Assembly. It means more decisions taken here in Wales and more opportunity for the Welsh people to hold their politicians to account. And it means those who spend taxpayers’ money must also be more responsible for raising it.’

The UK Government will continue to control rail infrastructure in Wales. Critics claim the status quo prevents the Welsh Government planning road and rail investments together as part of an integrated transport policy.

The Government did announce last Autumn that it will devolve the Wales and Borders franchise after the existing deal expires in 2018, with the Welsh Government taking full responsibility for specifying and procuring the service.

However Westminster warned that in order to ensure proper accountability, 'it is likely that services primarily serving English markets will be placed into other franchises for which the secretary of state for transport is the franchising authority'.

Ministers did highlight though that they would review 'Welsh services' - train services that start, end or stop at stations in Wales - to determine whether there is a need to strengthen the arrangements for engaging with the Welsh Government. The secretary of state currently has a duty to consult the Welsh Government on them.

The thorny issue of devolving Air Passenger Duty – which has unsettled managers at Bristol airport due to competition issues - will be considered in the next Parliament. A discussion paper will be published this summer on possible varying of APD rates within England. Ministers promised the review 'could open the door for it to be devolved to Wales' though.

Speed limits powers will be devolved to Wales but existing powers to designate the vehicle purposes able to exceed speed limits, such as emergency vehicles attending incidents, will be reserved by Whitehall.

Sustrans Cymru welcomed devolution of Welsh speed limits, claiming that six in 10 Welsh residents support 20mph as the default speed limit where they live.

National director Jane Lorimer said: ‘We called for speed limits to be devolved to Wales to ensure the Welsh Government had all the tools necessary to make our roads safer and support active travel, and we’re delighted the UK Government has delivered.’

A 20mph default limit for Welsh streets would complement the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013, she added.

 

Also see

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938 per annum
Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part time, job share and flexible working basis. The salary is u England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Director of Integrated Transport

Liverpool City Region
Salary up to £124,848
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is embarking on a search for an exceptional individual with the passion to deliver on our vision Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Region

Highways Manager

Oxford Direct Services
G11
Oxford Direct Services
Recuriter: Oxford Direct Services

Data Entry Administrator

Telford & Wrekin Council
£18,795 - £19,171
Telford & Wrekin’s Public Protection Service is looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated Data Entry Administrator Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Transport Planner

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 to £38,423
You’ll have previous experience of working in a transport/planning/accessible transport environment Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Parking Business Administrator Level 3 Apprenticeship

Brent Council
£15,000 p.a. inc.
This role will support the Brent Parking Team work to provide administrative support for both the Notice Processing Team Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Principal Engineer (Development)

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
Liverpool City Council wish to recruit a Principal Engineer (Development) to provide managerial and technical support. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Traffic Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
We are looking to recruit a Traffic Manager to join our Highways team Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Team Leader x2 - Passenger Transport

Redbridge London Borough Council
£27,228 - £28,215 per annum
You will be responsible for overseeing the duties of Passenger Transport drivers as well as providing support to the service and managers. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

UTMC Engineer

Warrington Borough Council
£31,371 - £34,788
You will support the UTMC Principal Engineer and work as part of a team responsible for all aspects of Urban Traffic Management and Control Warrington, Cheshire
Recuriter: Warrington Borough Council

Programme Assurance Manager Public Realm

Westminster City Council
£46,293 - £49,203 per annum
A graduate, or have equivalent experience, and you can show evidence of continued professional, managerial and personal development... City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Trading Standards Officer (Intellectual Property)

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 Per annum
Seeking to recruit highly motivated and experienced Trading Standards Officer’s to join our busy Business and Consumer Services team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Project Manager (LED Project)

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360
Seking a knowledgeable and engaging Project Manager to lead, shape and steer a professional engineering service.   Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Principal Planning Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£42,656 to £51,690
We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic Principal Planning Officer within our Development Management Team, based in Richmond.  Twickenham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Programme Technician/Engineer

Norfolk County Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
This is a challenging position which involves working across wide ranging activities. Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norfolk County Council

Health and Safety Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 per annum
The Successful candidate will hold BSc/MSc or Diploma in Environmental Health and be EHRB registered as an... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Safety, Health and Environment Technician Apprentice

North Yorkshire County Council
£19,171 to £19,945
Are you a self-starter, have a willingness to learn and have a proactive approach? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Head of Parking and Traffic Services

Redbridge London Borough Council
Up to £79,000 + benefits
Lead progress in parking Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Environmental Services Strategy and Change Officer

Brent Council
£42,684 - £45,585 p.a. inc.
You will be experienced and skilled at designing and delivering cultural change in a large complex organisation and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Project Director (Liveable Exeter Garden City)

Exeter City Council
Up to £75,000 per annum
Our goal is to make Exeter a leading sustainable city Exeter, Devon
Recuriter: Exeter City Council