Regional Development Committee Endorses Roads Bill

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 01 June 2010

Reference: RD 05/09/10

The Northern Ireland Assembly Regional Development Committee today published its report on the Roads (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill which considers the introduction of arrangements for road closures for certain types of entertainment and sporting events such as filming, festivals and marathons. The Bill also introduces a permit scheme to control certain works on roads.

Committee Chairperson, Fred Cobain, MLA, said today: “The Committee welcomes the proposals in this Bill and has carefully considered the submissions and evidence received to ensure the views of others on the Bill are reflected. The Committee has already recommended two amendments to the Bill which the Department for Regional Development has agreed to. While the Committee recognises the growth of the film industry in Northern Ireland and welcomes its inclusion in arrangements for road closures it felt it was important that the Bill defines what is meant by the term ‘film’ in relation to closing roads for filming purposes. Consequently the Committee has recommended the inclusion of a definition to ensure that the making commercials or television programmes would be included.

“Our second recommendation for amendment relates to the proposal to introduce a permit scheme to carry out certain works on roads. The Committee has raised the need for the Assembly to approve any regulations that would introduce new criminal offences in relation to permit schemes.

“The Committee has and will continue to work with the Department to ensure that these issues are successfully addressed.”

The Committee report also recommends a review of the proposed permit scheme by the Department after three years.

The Committee’s report will now be submitted to the Department and it will take forward the agreed amendments to the Bill when the Department brings the Bill to the Assembly for consideration by its Members. The Committee’s report is now available on the Assembly website http://archive.niassembly.gov.uk/regional/2007mandate/regionalreport_07.htm , or on request from the Committee Clerk.

Ends

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