Legislation is coming!
Legal e-travel is within reach. It’s about time too, considering the enormous benefits e-scooters and e-bikes provide to the environment, and the consumer. Although we cannot give a definitive date that you’ll be permitted to use your privately owned e-scooters, the rental scooter trials currently taking place across the UK are being used by The Travel Committee to decide how electric scooters are to be used safely in law.
What is the current law?
Currently, the use of private electric scooters on public land is not legal in the UK. It is only permitted to ride e-scooters on private land. The exception to this rule is government-approved trials of rental scooters. These trials rent out scooters for hire to the public, requiring users to be over 18 and hold at least a provisional license with a Q entitlement. The scooters are limited to a speed of 15.5mph, except in some zones with a lower limit imposed via geofencing. Scooters are allowed to be ridden on roads and cycle lanes, and there is no current rule about wearing protective helmets, though they are recommended.
Why are e-scooters not legal?
E-scooters are governed as motorised vehicles, which means they are under similar laws to cars and other motor vehicles. The speed that the motors allow scooters to travel at makes them potentially more dangerous than manual scooters and bicycles. In a similar way to how driving a car or riding a bicycle is dangerous, riding an e-scooter is very much down to the rider’s responsibility.
Will the law change on e-scooters?
It looks very likely that private e-scooters will become legal to use, as the benefits are simply too great to ignore. The world is desperately looking for more sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to the daily commute, something to replace the air polluting and carbon heavy private car. But electric cars and public transport come with a big cost to the consumer. Not to mention, since the pandemic, public transport options such as buses and trains have become increasingly unappealing due to the lack of ability to social distance. The Travel Committee have agreed that e-scooters have the potential to be a low-cost, accessible and environmentally friendly alternative to the private car. Therefore, the future of legal, private e-scooter use in the UK is looking bright.
When will e-scooters become legal?
Currently, e-scooters are legal to purchase and and use on private land. We don’t currently have a set date to guide us as to when public use will be allowed. However, we can trust that the government-backed e-scooter rental trials are a good sign, and as long as riders remain responsible, we are sure to see this green travel method allowed across the country soon enough.