The UK Announces E-Scooter Consultation and Trials
News | March 16, 2020 | Share
The UK’s Department for Transport has announced a consultation into how e-scooters could be legalised as a new form of environmentally friendly transport on the UK’s streets. Trials will also begin across selected UK towns and cities over the coming months.
Alan Clarke, Director of Government Relations for the UK said: “This is great news for UK towns and cities, we’re delighted that the Government is exploring offering greener ways to travel. Shared electric scooters are a safe, emission-free, and convenient way of getting around. They help take cars off the road with around a quarter of e-scooter trips replacing a car journey - cutting congestion and reducing air pollution.
We look forward to contributing to the government’s call for evidence to develop clear rules and safety standards to allow this environmentally friendly option to be made available and hope to participate in upcoming trials on UK streets.”
The UK is one of only two countries in Europe where e-scooters remain illegal. Lime currently operates a fleet of around 2000 e-bikes in the UK which have already been used to make over a million journeys by the British public. The government’s announcement today is an important step towards e-scooter legalisation and introducing another sustainable way for people to travel.
Lime has a clear view of how regulation can work safely in the UK and has published a five-point plan based on experience across our 100 global cities where we successfully operate e-scooters.
• We believe e-scooters must have standardised safety features if they are to be used on British streets. They are not toys. They should have a capped top speed of 15.5mph, front and rear brakes, lights, and suspension to be able to cope with speed bumps and potholes.
• E-scooters should only be allowed on roads and in cycle lanes - and should be banned from being ridden on pavements.
• Laws that already govern e-bikes should also be applied to e-scooters. So, if an e-scooter meets strict safety requirements, riders wouldn’t need a license, tax or insurance to ride, which could be a barrier to potential users.
• While the Government should encourage shared, dockless e-scooter services to allow more people to travel by e-scooter, cities should have the power to limit the number of companies allowed to operate, so they aren’t overcrowded with different scooter providers.
• E-scooter companies should give back to the cities they serve by sharing anonymised data to help cities better understand how people travel and where to invest to do more to get people out of cars.
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