The new Transport Committee has outlined its priorities for the immediate future – with the DfT’s policy on young drivers and electric scooters set to come under the microscope.
The remit of the cross-party group of MPs is to scrutinise the DfT and its associated public bodies on issues such as road safety – looking at expenditure, administration and policy.
Last month, the committee appointed Conservative MP Huw Merriman as its new chair, following the outcome of the 2019 General Election.
Mr Merriman has now set out the committee’s upcoming programme of work, which will include a short inquiry on electric scooters – ahead of a Government consultation planned later this year.
The UK is the last European economy where e-scooters are illegal to be used everywhere (except on private land), and the inquiry will look to answer whether they are a ‘pavement scourge or carbon saviour’.
Meanwhile, the committee has confirmed it will resume an inquiry into young and novice drivers.
Statistics show just 7% of the UK’s driving licence holders are aged 17-24 – but this demographic are involved in 20% of fatal and serious collisions.
The inquiry sets out to consider why these drivers are more at risk and how the Government plans to address casualty figures.
Huw Merriman said: “[We] regularly face concerns from constituents and fellow parliamentarians about the impact of transport on our daily lives.
“While we will set out to understand the successes and failures of the transport headlines, the vast majority of our travel is done locally.
“People ask questions like what’s happened to my bus route or why should my mobility limit my transport choices too? Why isn’t my city served better by transport links? Or why can’t I choose to walk or cycle to work without facing congestion, worrying about road safety or the quality of the air our children breathe?
“We’ll be following through on the commitments which the DfT gave our predecessor committee and seeking more of our own.
“We’ll be turning over the transport headlines but we’ll also be seeking answers on key questions for this parliament, such as how to reduce the carbon footprint of transport to meet the Government’s legal obligation to reduce greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050.”