The government is preparing to create a new category of e-scooter vehicles – Landscape

The government has announced its intention to create a zero-emission low-speed category, independent of the cycles and motor vehicle categories, with electric scooters to be the first such vehicle.

Yesterday a government spokesman confirmed that new e-scooter legislation will be included in the upcoming Transport Bill, which was referenced in the Queen’s Speech earlier this week.

“While it is currently illegal to drive a private e-scooter on public land, we are considering how best to design future regulations and our transport bill will help us take the steps we need to make e-scooters safer and support innovation,” the spokesperson said. “Safety will always be our top priority and our trials help us better understand the safety benefits of properly regulated and tested electric scooters and their impact on public spaces.”

Speaking in the House of Lords, Baroness Vere of Norbiton said: ‘Safety is also at the heart of our plans to create a regulatory framework for smaller, lighter, zero-emission vehicles, sometimes called scooters electrical.

“My lords, their popularity is clear and new rules are needed to improve security and enforcement against illegal use, while unleashing innovation and growth in this emerging multi-billion pound industry. To this end, we intend for this bill to create a zero-emission low-speed category independent of the cycle and automobile categories.

“New powers would allow the government to decide which vehicles fall into this new category in the future and how they should be regulated to ensure they can be used safely. We hope that electric scooters will be the first of these vehicles.

The news that private electric scooters could soon be made legal on the road has already been welcomed by organizations such as CoMoUK and the Bicycle Association. In response to the Queen’s Speech, Bird Chief Executive James Padden said: “It’s time for legislation to catch up with industry innovation and consumer demand, but more than that, it’s about of a potentially critical development for climate action.

Read more: Cycling UK launches ‘Cycling made e-asy’ with Department for Transport investment

Jack Samler, CEO of There UK and Ireland, said: “We welcome plans to create a new category of independent vehicles and to legalize electric scooters in the UK. This will allow more people to adopt this affordable and sustainable transport model, thereby reducing congestion and pollution in our cities and towns.

“More than 12 million journeys have been made There e-scooters and e-bikes since the launch of the trials and 39% modal shift from cars to e-scooters, representing approximately 4.5 million short car trips replaced. Shared electric scooter systems, such as There‘s, have successfully demonstrated that they can be safely integrated with other forms of public transport, cycling and walking, to provide people with carbon-free transportation options.

“As the UK’s leading scooter operator, we look forward to working with our partner cities and government to support the upcoming legislation as it passes through Parliament.”

For more information and updates on all things electric scooters and micromobility, check out BikeBiz’s sister site micromobilitybiz.com.