Self-balancing "hoverboard" scooters are illegal on UK roads and pavements

Clara Guibourg
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Self-balancing scooter
Self-balancing scooters are trendy - but illegal (Source: Youtube)

Bad news for all you Marty McFly wannabes out there: the Crown Prosecution Service has ruled that those “hoverboards” - or balancing scooters - are illegal on the UK's roads and pavements.

Even if you don’t own one yourself, you’re sure to have seen them, as the self-balancing scooters similar to Segways have begun flooding UK streets in recent months.

But despite the hype, the vehicles are actually illegal to ride in the UK’s public places, according to guidance released by the Crown Prosecution Service. The scooters are too dangerous for pavements - but also too unsafe for the road.

In fact, the only place you’re actually allowed to ride them is on private property with the landowner’s permission.

Being powered vehicles, the scooters are illegal to ride on pavements under the Highway Act 1835, section 72, to be exact. Since they lack the requirements necessary to be registered under both European and British schemes, they’re also illegal on roads.

So much for pseudo-hoverboards - what about the real thing? After all, 2015 is the year in which the Back to the Future films promised audiences they’d arrive. The dream may be drawing near, as the crowdfunded Hendo hoverboard is about to hit the pavement - or, well, hover just above it.

Whether these, too, will be covered by the UK ban remains to be seen.

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