guy riding an electric scooter

Are Electric Scooters Legal In The UK?

The world is going through an age where everything is being integrated with modern technology. While some things are becoming modern to make them more eco-friendly, products like bicycles and scooters are going through development to increase their appeal.

However, the laws surrounding electric scooters in the UK have been against them for some time, as opposed to electric bikes. The officials were seeing many accidents related to these e-scooters.

The times have changed now, ever since July 4th, 2020, the UK government has legalised electric scooters on the roads in England, Wales, and Scotland. But there is a catch, you will need to pay for your desired electric scooter through a share scheme.

You can still find electric scooters for sale, but you might not be able to ride a privately owned scooter on public land.

Furthermore, some limitations are set on the scooters. For example, you can’t go over 24 to 25 km/h, and you need to be at least 16 with a full or provisional license.

Change in Modes of Travelling

When the coronavirus outbreak first started in March, most of the people around the UK quickly changed their ways of travelling. Instead of driving, riding a motorbike, or using public transportation, people started to walk, cycle, or go around on scooters.

In fact, people started to ride around on cycles so much that it is estimated to have increased by approximately 300%. This opened the eyes of many electric scooter providers, and they started to market their products as a cheap, sustainable, and fast mode of transport.

Now, the interest in electric scooters is quickly growing for short-distance and active traveling. They provide people with an excellent mode of travel that can be combined with walking or public transport to go even further. 

That is why you may not be surprised to hear that they are already quite popular in many major cities around Europe. Over a few months, you might be seeing an increase in electric scooters in your cities as well. 

The Year-Long Electric Scooter Trial in Britain

Over the next year, the country will get a much better understanding of the impact of electric scooters in many cities and towns. 

Although many regions have seen a rise in the infrastructure for pop-up cycle lanes, there is a need for a much larger project to make riding electric scooters more comfortable. Fortunately, the government recognised the need and pledged to spend around £2 billion to support the people who prefer to cycle, walk, or ride around on a scooter. 

Since the electric scooters and cycles can move faster than average walking speed and less than the average driving speed, these spaces are essential to get more people excited about these eco-friendly modes of transport. 

But while electric scooters offer a sustainable solution for travelling, their companies can have certain impacts on the environment. The vehicles that will collect, recharge, and redistribute the e-scooters will produce emissions. Also, these share schemes might not practice the best way to discard old or damaged electric scooters and bikes.

Therefore, they must start working more closely with planners and local authorities to be more environmentally friendly as they advertise.

Safety Concerns

Since there have been many accidents and deaths related to e-scooters, there are many safety concerns and worries regarding the recent legislation. 

When the French government saw a massive increase in the popularity of electric scooters, they set many rules and regulations to keep people safer. These consist of age restrictions, speed limits, and not allowing e-scooter riders to travel on pavements, among other things. The UK government is also implementing such regulations to ensure the safety of the riders and everyone around them.

But certain rules concern a few groups of people, such as the requirement to hold a provisional or full license. However, people have hope that the government will diminish all the unnecessary provisions in the review that will take place at the end of the trial period.

There have also been littering concerns since most sharing schemes use a dockless system. That means people can leave their e-scooters anywhere after using them. Issues like these might be resolved before or during the end-of-trial review.