Rental e-scooter trials now permitted in the UK
Posted: 1 July 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The Department for Transport (DfT) has also released guidance documents for local area and e-scooter operators about the next steps in the design, implementation and management of e-scooter trials.
It has been announced that new regulations allowing trials of rental e-scooters in the UK have come into force, with the first trials expected to begin.
Local authorities and devolved administrations hosting the trials can allow or run the rental schemes in their areas, as outlined in accompanying guidance for areas and rental operators.
The trials aim to help understand whether e-scooters can truly reduce motor traffic, as well as their impacts on safety for riders, pedestrians, and other road users. The e-scooters will be prohibited on pavements, limited to 15.5 mph and riders are recommended to wear helmets.
Users will need a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence to take part in the trials, and must be 16 or over. To avoid a surge of scooters onto the streets, the regulations only cover rental schemes and individually owned scooters will still be illegal on public roads.
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “As we emerge from lockdown, we have a unique opportunity in transport to build back in a greener, more sustainable way that could lead to cleaner air and healthier communities across Great Britain.
“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. The trials will allow us to test whether they do these things.”
The trials, which are due to last for one year, will be monitored so the government can assess the benefits of e-scooters and their impact on public space. The rental schemes will involve companies in the industry from Great Britain and across the globe working with local authorities to provide a plan for the controlled introduction of e-scooters in cities, towns and rural areas.