(Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash)

Government will make announcement on e-scooter legislation next month, says Transport Secretary 

The Government will make an announcement on the legality of private-use electric scooters next month, according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Mr Shapps has told the Commons Transport Select committee that an announcement will be made during the Queen’s Speech on May 10. 

Currently, privately-owned electric scooters are banned on the roads unless the owner is taxed and insured.

The Government has been running trial scooter rental schemes across the country, to inform its decision on whether to legalise private scooters on public roads. 

Following a long period of campaigning from scooter retailers and transport organisations, the Government has been expected to make a decision on the legalisation of e-scooters this year, but after a number of trial schemes were extended until November, it was not clear if or when the Government would legalise the scooters. 

Mr Shapps told the Select Committee: “In the future, I want to crack down on the illegal use on roads of non-compliant e-scooters.” 

Conservative MP Simon Jupp said he was concerned that Mr Shapps comments suggest that the Government was considering legalising the scooters, which have been involved in 900 collisions so far, 11 of which have been fatal. 

Mr Shapps responded: “We will take powers to properly regulate and then be able to decide the usage of them.”

 “They’re a reality, they exist.

“If these things exist they need to be made safe, and I think the trials have been useful in gathering data and there’s more data still to gather.”

Mr Shapps then said he will make an announcement on May 10. 

Shared transport charity CoMoUK has welcomed news of the announcement. 

Read more: ‘Why now is the right time to make e-bike safety a priority’

Richard Dilks, chief executive of the charity, said: “This is a welcome announcement from the Transport Secretary and we look forward to seeing the details of what is proposed.

“E-scooter trials have proven to be highly popular, with over 15 million rides since summer 2020, and we must ensure the UK does not miss out on this opportunity to lower transport emissions.

“There is an imperative to improve safety because our laws currently do not define and recognise e-scooters, and we need standards for aspects such as their top speed, braking and lighting.” 

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