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Minister indicates private e-scooters could be legalised for use on roads

(Andrew Matthews/PA)
(Andrew Matthews/PA)

Private e-scooters could be legalised for use on roads, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has indicated.

The Cabinet minister said legislation will be included in the Queen’s Speech on May 10.

E-scooters can currently only be used on England’s roads if they are part of trials of rental schemes, which involve safety features such as maximum speeds of 15.5mph and automatic lights.

Those that are privately owned are legally restricted for use on private land, but are a common sight in towns and cities.

Mr Shapps told the Commons Transport Select Committee that “in the future I want to crack down on the illegal use on roads of non-compliant e-scooters”.

Committee member Simon Jupp said there have been “900 collisions, 11 of which were fatal”.

He expressed concern that Mr Shapps’ comments indicate the Department for Transport (DfT) is considering allowing private e-scooters to be used on roads as long as they meet similar safety specifications as those in the trials.

Grant Shapps
Grant Shapps (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Mr Shapps replied: “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.”

Another committee member, Ben Bradshaw, described e-scooters as a “convenient, cheap and environmentally friendly form of transport” as he asked Mr Shapps when the DfT will “get a move on and properly license these things”.

In his response, Mr Shapps said: “I shall announce it on May 10.”

Speaking after the session, AA president Edmund King said: “The Government is right to address this issue and bring in regulations rather than allowing some of our cities to be over-run like the Wild West with illegal scooters.

“Micro-mobility and e-technology can have a positive effect on movement in our cities but we must ensure that movement is safe.”

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