E-scooters to be allowed on UK roads

New regulations allowing rented e-scooters to be legally trialled on British roads are to come into force on Saturday (July 4), the Department of Transport has announced.

Jul 1, 2020
By Tony Thompson

The trials are designed to help understand whether e-scooters reduce motor traffic, as well as their impact on safety for their users and others.

Riders must be aged 16 or over and will need a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence. Helmets will be recommended but not mandatory. Riding on pavements will be strictly prohibited and all e-scooters will be limited to a maximum speed of 15.5mph.

These measures are intended to address safety concerns following the death of YouTube celebrity Emily Hartridge in July last yearwhen she was struck by a lorry while travelling on an e-scooter on a road in southwest London.

The new regulations apply only to rented scooters available through designated trial schemes – individually owned models will remain illegal on public roads. Around 50 local authorities have expressed interested in hosting trials, the first of which is expected to begin as early as next week. The trials will last for 12 months.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “As we emerge from lockdown, we have a unique opportunity in transport to build back in a greener, more sustainable way that could lead to cleaner air and healthier communities across Great Britain.

“E-scooters may offer the potential for convenient, clean and cost-effective travel that may also help ease the burden on the transport network, provide another green alternative to get around and allow for social distancing. The trials will allow us to test whether they do these things.”

The Government has come under pressure to provide alternatives to crowded public transport during the pandemic for people who need to commute to work. Already, sales of bicycles have surged during lockdown.

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