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9 Apr 2021

The APPGCW's e-scooter trials meeting will take place on 23rd April, and the special event with Jeremy Vine, Isabel Hardman and Peter Walker about their recent book releases will be on 29th...

5 Nov 2020

Work has now commenced on drafting legislation to legalise e-scooters, which will be in place in 2021.

1 Jul 2020

Rental e-scooters will become legal on roads in Great Britain from this Saturday, in a bid to ease pressure on public transport amid the coronavirus crisis

11 May 2020

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced some very significant "once in a generation" measures to get more people cycling and walking.

30 Apr 2020

The Transport Committee has launched an inquiry to explore the safety and legal implications of e-scooters, their impact on congestion, and potential contribution to reducing the UK's greenhouse...

1 Aug 2019

Whilst there is an obvious opportunity for IBDs to sell e-scooters it is important they provide clear advice to consumers at the point of sale about where e-scooters may be legally used.
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The ACT stance on Electric Scooters

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News , Political News

Despite the first electric scooter being introduced over a hundred years ago, it is only within the last few years that the e-scooter has exploded in popularity, and even more recently that it has been on the lips of the nation - particularly the part of the nation that makes up the bike business.

E-scooters are now a prominent mode of transport in over 100 cities, with increasing popularity in many European countries and the US. E-scooters provide the obvious benefits of being environmentally friendly and reducing congestion. Considering the success of e-scooters in developed countries around the world and the benefits they offer, the question must be asked as to why e-scooters are illegal to ride in public within the UK.

Following the recent death of a TV star whilst riding an e-scooter, much debate has been sparked in regard to the safety of the vehicles for not only the rider but also other road users and pedestrians. According to the Department for Transport, e-scooters are classed as motor vehicles within the UK, meaning that they are subject to requirements such as MOT, tax, licensing and other construction requirements such as needing to have visible rear red lights, number plates and signalling ability. As e-scooters lack these necessities they cannot be road legal.

To summarise: it is still legal to sell e-scooters in the UK, although not legal to ride them anywhere other than private land with the land owner's permission and that the public does not have access without legal restrictions.

Read more at the Government website here.

However, with recent environmental issues reaching crisis levels and the UK failing to tackle the rising levels of air pollution, can a sustainable solution such as the e-scooter be so easily dismissed?

"We are examining whether they can be used safely on the road - and if so, how that should be regulated to ensure the public's safety." - The Future of Mobility minister Michael Ellis.

A Future of Mobility review is being conducted by the UK government to determine how e-scooters may change the ways in which people move around cities, as well as evaluating how current laws can be adapted to ongoing innovation.

The ACT stance

The current viewpoint of the government shown through the Department for Transport and the Future of Mobility is very focussed on safety and does not show any urgency to regulate e-scooters in order to legalise them.

The ACT have been monitoring the e-scooter debate and discussing the issue with the Bicycle Association (BA). The following regulatory framework has been proposed and agreed upon by both parties to reflect a joint position in ensuring that this message is reinforced across the industry:

  • A clear definition, so that e.g. hoverboards or heavier, moped-like scooters are not inadvertently included if only e-scooters are intended to be in scope
  • Maximum speed at which the motor can propel the vehicle
  • Limits on either maximum motor power or acceleration
  • Control system requirements e.g. to specify that any throttle actuation must be maintained by the rider
  • Braking requirements
  • Lighting requirements
  • Clear details of exactly where they may be used: roads, cycle paths, bridleways, pavements, footpaths, etc.
  • Any rider age restrictions

The primary stance of both the ACT and the BA is to work together to encourage e-scooter responsibility among the wider cycling industry. Whilst there is an obvious opportunity for IBDs to start selling e-scooters, until the government announces a regulation change it is crucial for retailers to be aware of the law and they must relay this to any buyers of e-scooters to ensure safety. It is important the industry provides, and is seen to provide, clear advice to consumers at the point of sale about where e-scooters may be legally used.

 


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