Electric scooters could be allowed on public roads if a new review on modernising the UK’s highways network is put into action.
The Department for Transport’s Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy report published today looked at the current regulations surrounding vehicles such as e-scooters and bicycle trailers.
Although electric scooters are experiencing a surge in popularity, they can only be used on private land in the UK because they are classed as personal light electric vehicles.
They are currently used in many cities in America and in continental Europe. However, they’re banned from use on the public roads and pavements in the UK.
The review also looked at self-driving cars, as well as flexible bus services.
In the foreword to the report, transport minister Jesse Norman said the strategy would guide its approach to emerging mobility technologies and services. “The best transport technologies of the future will not just make journeys faster, they will also make them safer, easier, more comfortable and more affordable. They will make our towns and cities quieter and less polluted.
“We have an extraordinary opportunity here – to put Britain at the heart of the next mobility revolution, and bequeath a better, greener and more successful country for future generations,” he added.
Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, said of the report: “Clearly, much needs to be thought through before electric scooters can be allowed to use UK roads legally.
“While improvements in technology are providing many new exciting transport possibilities, the key to gaining public acceptance must surely be demonstrating they can be used safely.”
Some electric scooter companies have already been introduced into the UK. Bird, one of the major suppliers of the vehicles, launched them in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London because the area is classed as private land, allowing it to circumnavigate the restrictions on them.