Clause 3 - Power to authorise

Part of Automated Vehicles Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:45 am ar 19 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Anthony Browne Anthony Browne Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 10:45, 19 Mawrth 2024

I do not know whether they have names. The hon. Gentleman has stumped me there, but it is a good idea.

As the hon. Member for Wakefield recognised in his comments, the legislation already covers pavements—the definition of roads or highways covers pavements, driveways and so on, including other accessible public areas. That could be used for the regulation of pavement bots, if desired.

I agree that there is a grey area, but the issue opens up many other issues outside the scope of the Bill: how we regulate the use of pavements, or what sort of vehicles we want or do not want on them. At the moment, mobility scooters or vehicles are allowed on the pavement, with a maximum speed of, I think, 4 mph. Such vehicles involve a whole range of issues to do with what pedestrians might expect or not on pavements, which should be subject to carefully thought-through legislation.

The issue with the delivery bots is that they are not regulated as road vehicles—they do not have licence plates and are not subject to any of the requirements made of road vehicles—so there is a risk that they would be caught by legislation that most people would think inappropriate. That raises so many issues, but they are outside the scope of the Bill. We will have to address them in some other way. I agree that there is a grey area, but this is not the way to deal with it.