Thank you for contacting me about electric scooters.
I know that the Government recognises the public’s interest in, and the potential value of, electric scooters. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department for Transport had begun looking into the true benefits and costs of electric scooters as part of the most ambitious regulatory review of transport laws in a generation.
In response to COVID-19, Ministers accelerated and expanded planned trials of rental electric scooters, and the Department for Transport is now currently running a series of electric scooter trials in a small number of local areas across the country.
Electric scooters could ease the burden on the transport network and help to facilitate social distancing. However, the Government will rightly need to understand the full impact of electric scooters before any decision is made on whether they should be legalised.
Trials involve electric scooter companies partnering with local areas to provide electric scooters for hire. People over 16 with a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence will be able to take part in the trials. Throughout the trials, electric scooters will be prohibited on pavements and will be limited to 15.5 mph. There is a full list of Government guidelines here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-scooter-trials-guidance-for-users.
The trials, which are due to last for 12 months, will provide evidence on the true impact of electric scooters, for example on how safe they are, how they are used, whether their potential benefits can be realised, and on how to manage their potential downsides. E-scooter trials are progressing well, with twenty trials now live and supporting the green recovery across the country.
It is important to note that only selected rental electric scooters will be allowed to partake in trials in order for robust and meaningful data to be gathered. It remains the case that privately owned electric scooters are illegal to use on roads, pavements and cycle lanes, and those considering buying these devices should be aware of this.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP