HC Deb 17 February 1970 vol 796 cc257-8
Dr. Dickson Mabon

I beg to move Amendment No. 14, in page 8, line 34, at end insert 'on foot'.

This is another drafting Amendment arising from discussion in Committee. I join with the hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Wylie) in saying how very indebted we are to my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary, who took my place in the Committee. He agreed to look at the drafting.

The Amendment makes clear that Clause 13 does not empower a highway authority to close a public right of way for pedestrians. As the Under-Secretary explained, the Clause is aimed at the prevention of access by vehicles, but the Clause in terms gives powers to shut off both vehicular and pedestrian accesses. The effect of the Amendment is to make quite clear that the reference to a public right of way is to a pedestrian right of way and not to a right of way for vehicles, which would be a public road and not a private access.

Mr. Brewis

The expression "on foot" seems a little odd in a Statute. I suppose that riding a horse, for example, would be all right. Should not the expression be "on hoof" in that case? Do we really want to keep out people who are riding bicycles? Is the Minister sure that that is really what he intends?

Dr. Mabon

One should never weary in doing good. I shall certainly look at this matter. I do not think that there was any intention in the minds of the critics or my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State to have vehicles there, even bicycles or horses. I think that the idea was to keep the right of way for pedestrians. I do not know whether the word "pedestrian" is better than the phrase "on foot".

Amendment agreed to.

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