Merchant shipping: bilge water alarms

The Government has introduced new regulations on the installation of bilge water alarms to merchant vessels of a certain size, to provide warning when the accumulation of bilge water threatens their buoyancy or safety. The regulations follow the sinking of the vessel ‘Abigail H’ in the Port of Heysham in 2008. The gap between that incident and the introduction of these measures has led to criticism that ministers have been too slow to act to prevent similar accidents happening again.

Merchant shipping: bilge water alarms

Environment Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages

The Environment Bill would establish a new environmental governance system, including the setting of long-term targets and the creation of an Office for Environmental Protection. It also includes measures on improving air quality, waste management and recycling, water management, biodiversity and conservation covenants. The bill is due to have it second reading in the House of Lords on 7 June 2021, having been carried over from the last session.

Environment Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages

Queen’s Speech 2021: transport

This In Focus has been prepared in advance of the Queen’s Speech, taking place on 11 May 2021. It discusses previous government policy commitments on railways and airlines, in addition to other possible measures that may be introduced in the forthcoming parliamentary session.

Queen’s Speech 2021: transport
  • In Focus

    HGV drivers: temporary relaxation of driving hours limits and minimum rest period rules

    Due to concerns about disruptions to supply chains resulting from Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has introduced the Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Temporary Exceptions) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/58) to relax the rules governing maximum driving hours and minimum rest periods. It has stated that the exceptions should only be used where necessary and not at the expense of safety. The House of Lords is due to debate the regulations on 18 March 2021.

  • In Focus

    Fast tracked planning permission to use land as temporary inland border facilities

    The Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020 (SI 2020/928) has sped up the planning process for land to be used as inland border facilities in specified areas of England. The Government stated this is necessary due to the increased border control measures needed now the UK has left the EU. On 11 February 2021, the House of Lords will debate a motion ‘regretting’ the legislation.

  • In Focus

    Heavy commercial vehicles in Kent: 2020 orders

    The House of Lords is due to consider two related statutory instruments on 26 November 2020. Along with a third order, the instruments amend orders from 2019 which made provision for ‘Operation Brock’. This is a planned system to manage heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) traffic in Kent when there are delays in exporting goods from Great Britain (GB) to the EU after the transition period. This article examines what the 2020 orders do and why they are being made.

  • In Focus

    Type approval and carbon dioxide emissions regulations 2020

    Certain regulations on vehicles and carbon dioxide emission targets are currently regulated by the EU. The UK Government has put in place statutory instruments intended to retain these regulations when the transition period ends for leaving the EU. This article looks at three draft SIs which make amendments to current legislation to ensure the regulations can function effectively after the transition period, and that the UK meets its obligations under the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19 regulations: Face coverings—updates

    During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has introduced requirements to wear face coverings in specified locations. These have been updated several times, to broaden the scope of the rules and to increase the financial penalties for non-compliance. This article looks at the requirements imposed by three instruments that came into force on 23 and 24 September 2020 and are being debated in the House of Lords on 12 October 2020.

  • In Focus

    Coronavirus: Support for the transport sector

    Following the coronavirus lockdown, the number of passengers on the transport system declined significantly. In some sectors government financial support has been provided to make up the shortfall in lost fare revenue. This article summarises statistics on transport use and the economic support provided by the Government, ahead of an oral question on that subject in the House of Lords.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19 regulations: Electric scooter trials

    The Government has laid regulations allowing trials of the use of electric scooters on roads to begin. Prior to the regulations, the use of both privately owned and rental e-scooters was prohibited on roads. The regulations use the ‘made negative’ procedure and came into force on 4 July 2020. This article examines what the regulations do, and explains concerns identified by the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee. 

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