Amendment 2

Part of Pedicabs (London) Bill [HL] - Report – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 30 January 2024.

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Photo of Viscount Goschen Viscount Goschen Conservative 5:30, 30 January 2024

My Lords, I agree with my noble friend that the first part of the noble Baroness’s amendment is very interesting but has a much wider application. None the less, she has cleverly found an opportunity to air broader concerns about lithium batteries. However, I feel rather sorry for the second part of her amendment, which is a very substantive measure. I do not think she particularly referred to it in her remarks and it has not been covered in the debate so far. It is about the amount of power that can be deployed by these vehicles and that they must be pedal-assisted and not just pure electric power.

The reason I support the noble Baroness’s sentiment behind that is something that we have covered in earlier debates. With electrically powered vehicles, which I think are great and have the ability to solve all sorts of environmental and other problems, particularly in cities, there is a blurring of where an electric bicycle ends and an electric motorcycle begins, and where an electric-powered but pedal-assisted vehicle ends and a motor vehicle begins, and whether the words that the noble Baroness has suggested really belong in TfL’s guidance or in the Bill. My concern is about putting very specific things in the Bill in terms of future-proofing. Who knows what will come along in future developments? Perhaps it is better covered by guidance.

However, there is a much wider concern about the difficulty of keeping up, from a regulatory perspective, with very rapid consumer change and the availability of electric scooters, which we talked about a lot at earlier stages of the Bill. Perhaps when the noble Baroness comes to wind up her remarks, she might just dwell a little on the second part of her amendment.