The UK’s Transport Committee is calling on e-scooters to be legalised within the union as they can offer a low cost, eco-friendly alternative to driving, but warns that the law must prohibit the use of e-scooters on pavements.
Under the committee’s recommendations, e-scooter users would – like cyclists – be expected to use cycle lanes or the side of the road to avoid inconveniencing pedestrians and would not be required to hold any form of license.
The committee has also encouraged the government to look closely at current trials to determine how to best to allow the use of both rental and privately-owned e-scooters, including monitoring the number and types of collisions that occur.
The UK has been trialling the use of rental e-scooters in the Tees Valley, Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire, West Midlands, Greater Norwich, Staffordshire, Gloucestershire, Liverpool, and Redditch. However, a trial in Coventry was scrapped after less than a week due to people misusing scooters, leaving them in the wrong places, and concerns over safety.
“The UK remains the last major European economy where e-scooters are still banned to use anywhere except on private land and their use on UK roads is currently illegal. That is still a matter of surprise to many, as we see the numbers grow on our streets alongside the Department’s permitted rental trials,” said Huw Merriman MP, Chair of the Transport Committee.
“e-scooters have the potential to become an exciting and ingenious way to navigate our streets and get from place to place. If this gets people out of the car, reducing congestion and exercising in the open air, then even better. We support the Government’s desire to include e-scooters in the UK’s transport mix and the current rental trials will provide a crucial evidence base for future legislation.”