Give e-scooters the green light, lawmakers urge
MPs have called on the government to legalise e-scooters in the UK, saying that they could offer a low-cost and environmentally friendly alternative to cars.
In July, transport secretary Grant Shapps brought forward 12-month long trials of the vehicles in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trials have been already announced in four parts of the country – Tees Valley, Milton Keynes Borough, Northamptonshire, and the West Midlands – with more expected to be confirmed.
In a new report released today by the Transport Select Committee, lawmakers said that e-scooters should be added to the country’s future transport mix.
However, the report said that robust enforcement measures should be put in place to eliminate pavement use of e-scooters, which is “dangerous and anti-social”.
“If the government supports the committee’s recommendation and decides to legalise privately owned e-scooters, the law should clearly prohibit their use on pavements and ensure that such enforcement measures are effective in eliminating this behaviour”, it said.
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It also said that the introduction of the vehicles should be complemented by a sensible and proportionate regulatory framework based on the results of the current trial.
Committee chair Huw Merriman said: “The UK remains the last major European economy where e-scooters are still banned to use anywhere except on private land and their use on UK roads is currently illegal.
“That is still a matter of surprise to many, as we see the numbers grow on our streets alongside the Department’s permitted rental trials.
“E-scooters have the potential to become an exciting and ingenious way to navigate our streets and get from place to place. If this gets people out of the car, reducing congestion and exercising in the open air, then even better.”
He added that the current trials should be opened up to as many people as possible and in as wide a variety of settings as possible.
Although those taking part in the trials were required to have driving licenses, the committee said that if e-scooters were legalised this should not be necessary.