London councils would be exempt from blame if someone was injured by electric car charging points under proposed new regulations, a former roads minister has claimed.
Christopher Chope said provisions in the London Local Authorities and Transport for London (No.2) Bill mean that councils in the capital would avoid having to face
damages claims if something went wrong with the charger or connecting cables, causing an accident or personal injury to someone on the road or in a car park.
He said this gives councils an unfair competitive advantage over any private companies that would provide electric charging points for cars or other vehicles.
Accident exemption privileges
The Tory MP for Christchurch told the Commons: “One of the privileges being given to the London local authorities by the provisions of this Bill is to exempt them from the normal provisions of the common law relating to nuisance on the highway or in public off-street car parks.
“What is effectively happening under this provision is that the London local authorities are seeking to say, ‘Not me, guv’, if anything goes wrong with this charging apparatus, if it results in an accident being caused or somebody being injured, which would normally lead to a claim for damages against that local authority, the local authority is going to be exempt from the consequent liability.
“I think that’s putting local authorities in a privileged position and will thereby enable those local authorities to have an unfair competitive advantage compared with other people who are involved in providing charging points for electric vehicles.”
The Bill passed report stage in the Commons and will receive its third reading on October 8.
Date Published: September 13, 2013
Author: David Brown