The UK Government has announced it plans to create a new vehicle category for low speed, zero emission vehicles, with electric scooters likely to be the first mode of transport added to the category.
Following the Queen’s Speech earlier this week, in which the Government set out plans for a new Transport Bill that would include updated e-scooter legislation, a move that has been welcomed by micromobility retailers and campaigners.
UK-based mobility brand Beryl, which operates bike, cargo bike, and e-scooter schemes across the country, said the success of its rental schemes has shown the demand for sustainable transport.
Beryl CEO and co-founder Phil Ellis said: “We welcome any legislation that seeks to remove barriers to sustainable transport and encourage the take up of greener transport transport options, reducing road congestion while improving air quality and public health.
“The success of our schemes has shown that, by instilling high standards of safety and operational control, you can introduce safe and sustainable schemes that can form an essential part of an integrated multimodal urban transport network.
“The key is to ensure delivery in partnership with authorities and in consultation with communities and key stakeholders and we have a proven track record of doing this successfully.”
Speaking in the House of Lords this week, BaroneSs Vere of Norbiton, Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Transport, confirmed that the Government now plans to introduce a new vehicle category for e-scooters.
The new category would allow the Government to regulate various aspects like e-scooter speed, power, lights and other details.
Jack Samler, general manager in the UK and Ireland for Voi, said: “We welcome the plan to create a new independent vehicle category and legalise e-scooters in the UK. This will allow more people to adopt this affordable and sustainable transport model, reducing congestion and pollution in our cities and towns.
“Over 12 million rides were taken on Voi e-scooters and e-bikes since the launch of the trials and 39% modal shift from cars to e-scooters, representing an estimated 4.5 million short car trips replaced. Shared e-scooter schemes, such as Voi’s, have successfully demonstrated that they can be safely integrated with other forms of public transport, bicycles and walking to give people carbon-free transport options.
“As the UK’s leading scooter operator, we look forward to working with our city partners and the government to support the upcoming legislation as it passes through Parliament.”