Micromobility operator Voi has called on the Government to set a clear date for the legalisation private e-scooters in the UK.
Voi, which operates rental e-scooter schemes across 100 towns and cities globally including Bristol and London in the UK, said that progress in the micromobility industry could be undermined if the Government doesn’t offer greater clarity on e-scooter legislation.
Matthew Pencharz, head of public policy at Voi for the UK, Ireland and Netherlands, appeared before the Transport Select Committee on Wednesday (8th February) to set out Voi’s position.
Pencharz, former London deputy mayor for environment and energy, said: “Almost three years after the trials were first started, the demand for e-scooters is proven with Voi alone having 21 million rides, replacing over 8 million car journeys.
“However, the industry doesn’t have certainty after May next year when the trials are currently due to end.
“Legislation will allow more cities and towns to use e-scooters as a sustainable method of transport for their communities, providing a firmer footing for the industry and the jobs and investment connected with it.”
Voi called on the Government to follow through with its commitment to create a new zero-emission vehicle category for e-scooters, which are currently subject to the same regulation as motor vehicles.
The UK is one of the only countries in Europe which subjects e-scooters to the same levels of regulation as cars, despite e-scooters being a fraction of the size, weight, power, and speed of motor cars.
Currently, privately-owned e-scooters are illegal on public roads without a licence and registration. Rental e-scooters are only permitted as part of Government-approved trials in select towns and cities.
Last year, the Government announced plans to introduce a new vehicle category for low-speed, zero-emission vehicles, which would pave the way for the legalisation of privately-owned e-scooters on public roads.
But the Government has not yet set a date for when the new legislation would be implemented.
Voi said the insurance required should be brought in line with e-bike regulation and that Government guidance should be updated to provide a more detailed framework on the management of e-scooter schemes, detailing the need for set governance structures, data driven decision making and clear goals at the local level.