The end date for e-scooter trials has been extended to spring 2022.
Local areas have been able to run e-scooter rental trials, for use on roads, cycle lanes and tracks only, since 4th July last year.
While it is legal to buy or sell an e-scooter, riding them on public roads, pavements or cycle lanes is against the law. Riders could face a £300 fine and six points on their licence if they use them on public roads or pavements. Riding e-scooters on private land is legal with the landowner’s permission.
The Electric Scooter Trials and Traffic Signs (Coronavirus) Regulations and General Directions 2020 (SI 2020/663) provide the legislative basis for the e-scooter trials. They define ‘e-scooters’ and amend road traffic regulations to exempt e-scooters being used in a trial from certain requirements of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Even in local authority areas which decide to run trials, it will still be illegal to ride a privately owned (non-trial) e-scooter on public roads, pavements or cycle lanes.
From 4th July 2020, local areas in England, Scotland and Wales have been able to undertake 12-month e-scooter rental trials, provided they meet DfT’s requirements. During the trials:
– Rental e-scooters will be allowed on roads and cycle lanes, but will continue to be banned from pavements
– E-scooters will be limited to a maximum speed of 15.5 mph
– Riders should wear helmets, but they will not be mandatory
– Privately-owned e-scooters will remain illegal
– Riders will need a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence to use the devices, and they must be aged 16 or over
The trials will be used will to inform future government policy and possible legislative change. Trials have been launched in 32 trial areas across a mixture of towns, cities, local authorities and combined mayoral authority areas.
The Transport Committee welcomed the Government’s e-scooter trials ahead of work to examine the legal status of e-scooters, which it said should draw on lessons from other countries so as to avoid potential negative impacts on pedestrians and disabled people.