Date lodged: 19 August 2021
To ask the Scottish Government what action it has taken to ensure that (a) Forth Ports and (b) other port operators have appropriate measures in place, such as demarcation areas or no activity areas, to protect the public using the water for recreation, while ensuring the requirements of the access code are maintained.
Current status: Answered by Graeme Dey on 13 September 2021
Ports in Scotland are operated as independent statutory bodies and governed by their own local legislation. This is subject to public consultation and Ministerial approval. The Scottish Government has no remit in the day-to-day operation of ports, which is the responsibility of the relevant port authority.
The Port Marine Safety Code sets out a national standard for port marine safety in ports throughout the UK. The Code aims to enhance safety for everyone who uses or works in the UK port marine environment. It is endorsed by the UK Government, the devolved administrations and representatives from across the maritime sector. Whilst the Code is not mandatory, there is an expectation that all harbour authorities will comply with it. The Code is intended to be flexible enough that any size or type of harbour or marine facility will be able to apply its principles in a way that is appropriate and proportionate to local requirements.
Port marine safety is governed not only by marine legislation, such as the Pilotage Act 1987 and Merchant Shipping Act 1995 as referred to in the Code, but also by general legislation, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 .
The right of responsible non-motorised access to land enshrined in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 applies to both land and inland water. These access rights, set out as rights and responsibilities in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, do not however apply to ports and harbours.