Orders under the Transport and Works Act 1992 and Planning Act 2008

42.17Schemes in England and Wales for the construction, operation and use of railways, tramways, trolley vehicle and other guided transport systems, together with inland waterways and works interfering with navigation, are no longer authorised by private legislation in Parliament. Under the Transport and Works Act 1992, the promoter of such a project must apply to the Secretary of State for the making of an order which, if objections are received, then becomes the subject of a public hearing or local inquiry. As noted earlier, the passing of the Act resulted in a marked reduction in the number of petitions deposited for private bills.

Under the 1992 Act, only schemes adjudged by the Secretary of State to be of national significance needed to be approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament.1 The process for approving such projects was further reformed by the Planning Act 2008. Under the Act, the Government produces national policy statements to guide decision-making on nationally-significant infrastructure projects. These are subject to parliamentary scrutiny and approval by resolution of the House of Commons. The Planning Inspectorate examines applications and makes a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State, who makes a decision on whether to grant or to refuse a development consent order.


  1. 1. For procedure under the Act, see the Transport and Works (Applications and Objections Procedure) (England and Wales) Rules 2006 (SI 2006/1466). There have been two instances of parliamentary consideration: Central Railways Order (HC Deb (1995–96) 282, cc 408–31) and Channel Tunnel Rail Link (Stratford Station and Subsidiary Works) Order (HC Deb (1997–98) 295, cc 1299–1320; HL Deb (1997–98) 580, cc 1540–55).