Electric scooters could soon be UK street legalJanuary 30th 2020
The dawning of an electric spring?
This week the Government confirmed it is soon to open a consultation on the legalisation of electric scooters in the UK. Next month ministers will begin deciding on how to regulate e-scooters, and this will be followed by trials in targeted UK cites throughout 2020. If the trials are successful, we could see e-scooters become officially legal in the UK for the first time.
It's expected that e-scooters will be subject to the same rules as cyclists. However, with rider safety being paramount, e-scooters may have their speed limited and helmets may be compulsory. These are the types of details the Government wish to consult on.
Why aren’t e-scooters legal at the moment?
Even though e-scooters are growing in popularity in the UK, they are still not officially allowed on public roads or pavements. The Highways Act, established 185 years ago, prevents them from being used on pavements, footpaths and cycle paths, as they are ‘mechanically propelled’. The Road Traffic Act (1988) stops them being used on roads. Electric scooters are classified as PLEVs (or Personal Light Electric Vehicles), and since they are not subject to taxes or registration, they are not recognised as road worthy by the DVLA.
What is the likelihood of e-scooters becoming street legal?
If you go to cities like Paris and Barcelona it doesn’t take long to see how popular the electric scooter has become across Europe. Why have they become so popular?
They help solve a multitude of city-based problems:
- Electric scooters are relatively low in cost to buy
- There are no parking charges
- You don’t get caught up in traffic congestion
- It’s approximately five times quicker than walking
- You’re free from the cost and overcrowding of public transport
- They offer a solution to climate crisis pollution issues
For all these reasons we believe the Government will legalise e-scooter travel on UK roads and cycle paths.
As champions of an urban micro mobility revolution, we offer affordable transport that we believe will help improve air quality and get more cars off the road in cities. We at Pure are super excited to hear the Government’s announcement; we think this fantastic news is a sign that the dawn of an electric spring has begun!