Chief Pleas has been asked to look at whether the time is right to introduce electric vehicles in Sark - and Express has been told that does include ALL electric vehicles.
A policy letter to be considered by the island's government at its meeting next week will focus on the "deregulation of 'electric biycles'" but the Road Traffic Committee said it has widened the scope of its consultation to cover all electric vehicles to see if there is a "wider appetite for change".
The Easter Chief Pleas on 11 April will consider the consultation "regarding the deregulation of electric vehicles on Sark roads", which will focus on The Motor Vehicles (Sark) Law, 2013. That law governs the regulation of electric cycles, invalid carriages and powered wheelchairs on Sark roads with "restrictions and requirements" on who is allowed to operate such a vehicle.
In its policy letter, the Road Traffic Committee said it had been approached by a number of Sark residents asking if it would look at the possible deregulation of electric cycles. When the Committee considered that matter it agreed the time was right and that the Law should be looked at, and it was further decided to consult with Sark residents before anything happened to find out if there was a wider appetite for change to Sark's laws governing vehicles.
Pictured: An electric bike, like the type which could be allowed in Sark in the future
Currently, Sark's laws ban the use of cars and electric vehicles - with pushbikes, tractors and some mobility scooters the only motorised forms of transport allowed. A spokesman for The Road Traffic Committee has told Express that this is unlikely to change to include cars of any form but in its policy letter the Committee acknowledged: "While the original approach had been to look at the deregulation of ‘electric bicycles’ the Committee considered and agreed that the scope of the consultation should be widened to cover all electric vehicles, if only to gain an insight of the residents’ opinions."
The policy letter continues by explaining that the Committee intends to advertise the consultation with posters going up in the public boxes and on the Government website, with a letter/questionnaire being sent out house-to-house. The cost of carrying out the consultation hasn't been disclosed but again the Committee has acknowledged that if it returns indicating an appetite for change then there would be further costs involved in drafting appropriate legislation to be debated by Chief Pleas; "the cost of which is presently unknown."
The Road Traffic Committee said it will, in due course, return to Chief Pleas with a further report and recommendation once it has collated and studied the responses, and while it is aware that this proposal does not form part of the list of priorities set for 2018, any work that may arise from this proposal will have to be considered by the Policy Development Group.
Firstly, the Road Traffic Committee needs permission from Chief Pleas to undertake "appropriate consultation with the residents of Sark on the subject of the possible deregulation of electric vehicles on Sark roads" before any work can commence.
Confirming this course of action with Express, Conseiller Antony Dunks Chairman of the Road Traffic Committee said: "The request from the public was for the Road Traffic Committee to look at deregulating electric cycles. The Committee felt that if it was to go out to consultation the subject should be expanded to included all electric vehicles", with Conseiller Dunks adding "I do not expect there will be an appetite, nor willingness, on behalf of the residents of Sark for anything beyond electric cycles."