E-scooters are at last set to be allowed on UK roads and cycle paths from Saturday 4 July, as the micro-mobility devices take their first step towards legality in this country. An extremely positive development for the electric mobility industry, it marks the beginning of official trials of this growing, clean personal transport solution.
The move marks a big step forward for electric scooters in the UK, which have been illegal to use on the country’s roads despite how common they’ve become in the US and other European countries. This is because the country’s preexisting laws treat them like traditional motor vehicles, saddling them with safety and legal regulations that are impossible for them to comply with. Laws also prohibit their use on sidewalks.
“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,” said the UK’s Transport Minister, Rachel Maclean, “The trials will allow us to test whether they do these things.”
The key parameters for the trial of electric scooters are as follows:
- Trials are for registered e-scooter rental schemes only
- Trials run by local authorities must start between 4 July and 31 August 2020 and can run for 12 months
- E-scooters will be able to use the same road space as cycles and EAPCs (e-bikes), i.e. on the road (except motorways) and in cycle lanes and tracks, where possible
- E-scooter motor power will be limited to 500W
- E-scooters will have a maximum design speed of 15.5mph (25km/h)
- Motor vehicle insurance policies must be in place on all e-scooters (rental-operator provided)
- Riders must hold a full or provisional driving license and be 16 years of age or over
- E-scooters must be hired or leased from specific providers and used within authority limits
- It is recommended that riders wear a cycle helmet
Several local authorities from around the country, such as Bristol, Leeds and the Solent area, have already publicly commented about how positive they are about taking part in electric scooter trials. We await more exciting news as to where in the country we’ll start seeing e-scooters on public highways this summer.
View our full range of electric scooters here.