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Application For Path Creation Order For Purposes Of Part I

Volume 357: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2000

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Lords amendment: No. 71, in page 33, line 38, leave out from ("any") to end of line 39 and insert

("local highway authority whose area includes land over which the proposed footpath or bridleway would be created.")

I beg to move, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

With this it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendments Nos. 72, 190 to 211, 213 and 215 to 233.

The group of amendments deals with provisions relating to the creation, extinguishment and

diversion of rights of way. At the risk of arousing the suspicions of Opposition Members, I have to say that the amendments are for the most part technical, or for the correction of minor errors. I have several pages of explanation, which I am happy to read to the hon. Member for Ashford (Mr. Green), but if he is satisfied and will accept my word about the technical nature of the amendments, I shall desist. Otherwise, the time threat will hang over the debate.

8.30 pm

The Minister's invitation is irresistible, but I will relieve him of any question in his mind that I do not believe him when he says that the amendments are technical. 1 am, however, puzzled by one of the technicalities. Amendment No. 72 is:

in clause 55, page 34, leave out line 27.
We are talking about stopping up and diversion. Line 27 as it currently exists in the Bill says that
`highway' includes part of a highway.
On the surface, that seems a sensible provision as, clearly, one would not necessarily wish to stop up or to divert an entire highway. One can easily envisage circumstances in which it would be useful to divert part of a highway. I am therefore puzzled as to why the Government have chosen to leave out the provision.

I thought that rescue might be arriving for the Minister. Sadly, it is not, so I shall keep questioning why the amendment should have been tabled. As I say, on the surface, it seems to make life too inflexible for the implementation of that part of the legislation. I should be grateful if the Minister would reply on that amendment.

It may be that help will not arrive in time. In the event that it does not, I shall undertake to provide the hon. Member for Ashford (Mr. Green) with a written explanation of his query. If that is not acceptable, I will be happy to read out the three pages I have in front of me. [interruption.] Here comes some help. The provision is replaced in a new interpretation clause at the end of part II. I hope that that makes as much sense to the hon. Gentleman as it makes to me.

Lords amendment agreed to.

Lords amendment No. 72 agreed to.