The Government recognises the public’s interest in e-Scooters, and is currently conducting 12-month trials into their use in a small number of local areas across the country. Whilst E-Scooters could help ease the burden on the transport network, the Government will need to understand the full impact of e-Scooters, including on people with sight loss, before any decision is made on whether they should be legalised and I appreciate the concerns you have raised.
I understand that two cities have halted the trials following reports of misuse of e-Scooters. I welcome that local councils are prioritising the safety of their communities, and understand that the halted trials will be reviewed by local authorities. I hope that the trials can resume when the e-Scooters can be used safely and appropriately, and ministers have been clear that trials must take place in a safe and controlled way, and that more robust initial launch plans must be put in place for future trials.
It is important to note that only selected rental e-Scooters are allowed to partake in trials, in order for robust and meaningful data to be gathered. Privately-owned e-Scooters are still illegal to use on roads, pavements and cycle lanes, and those considering buying these devices should be aware of this. Ignorance is no excuse.
It also remains illegal for e-Scooters to be used on public roads other than as part of the Government approved trials. Police have a range of sanctions at their disposal to address illegal e-Scooter use, including on-the-spot fines and placing points on any licence held by the user, and I would encourage them to make use of these powers where appropriate.