The Transport Committee has launched a new inquiry to consider the implications of legalising electric scooters for use on roads, cycle lanes and pavements.
The inquiry, launched on 21 April, will explore the safety issues related to e-scooters, as well as their impact on congestion and the environment.
The committee is calling for written evidence on:
- whether the legislation for e-scooters is up to date and appropriate
- to what extent e-scooters have positive benefits, for instance relating to congestion and promoting more sustainable forms of transport
- where in the urban environment e-scooters could be used (e.g. road, pavement, cycle lanes), and how this could impact on other road users and pedestrians, including people who have visual impairments or use mobility aids;
- whether there should be advice or compulsory requirements to use specific safety equipment when using an e-scooter;
- whether there should be safety and environmental regulation for the build of e-scooters, and what this might entail; and
- the experience of other countries where e-scooters are legal on the roads.
Huw Merriman MP, chair of the Transport Committee, said: “Electric scooters could be a useful lever to reduce our transport carbon footprint but their environmental credentials have yet to be proven.
“They could reduce the amount of time we spend in cars and reduce congestion but we don’t want to score an own goal by encouraging the use of micromobility vehicles instead of walking and cycling.
“Road safety is a significant consideration. We must consider the dangers to other road users and especially pedestrians with visual impairments or those who use mobility aids and rely on clear pavements. Safety must also be a factor for riders of e-scooters.”
Under current UK law, it is illegal to use a powered transporter – such as an electric scooter – on a public road or other prohibited space, including pavements and cycle lanes.
The UK is the last major European economy where e-scooters are banned everywhere except on private land (with the landowner’s permission).
The Transport Committee inquiry, which ends on 2 June, will complement a DfT consultation on micromobility vehicles.