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Councils to get congestion charging powers

CONGESTION CHARGING powers in Scotland will be passed to local authorities if plans in the Transport (Scotland) Bill are approved by the Scottish Parliament.

The Bill, which this week came under scrutiny from Scottish MPs on the transport and environment committee, will give local authorities the power to introduce charging schemes to tackle 'specific congestion problems'. As in England, all money raised will be ringfenced for public transport.

As well as congestion charging, the Bill should introduce measures to improve bus services through statutory quality partnerships between local authorities and bus operators. It also contains plans for statutory ticketing schemes to facilitate joint ticketing and powers for local authorities to determine minimum standards for the provision of bus information.

Once the Bill has passed through the committee stage it will be debated by the Scottish Parliament before Royal Assent can be granted, possibly before the end of December.

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