Private e-scooters may be legalised in major new laws next month, Grant Shapps indicates

E-scooters: Anne McIntosh calls for clarity on rules

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Currently e-scooters are only allowed to be used as part of Government approved rental trials, which involve safety features including a maximum speed limit of 15.5mph. Speaking earlier today, Grant Shapps said legislation could be included in the Queen’s Speech on May 10.

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”.

He praised the Government-approved rental trials, saying millions of miles had been driven.

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

He also expressed concern that Mr Shapps’ comments indicate the Department for Transport is considering allowing private e-scooters to be used on roads.

This would be dependent on them meeting similar safety specifications as those in the trials.

Mr Shapps replied, saying: “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.”

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Anyone with a privately-owned e-scooter are legally restricted to use on private land, but are frequently seen in towns and cities.

Another committee member, Ben Bradshaw, described e-scooters as a “convenient, cheap and environmentally friendly form of transport”.

The Labour MP for Exeter then asked the Transport Secretary when the DfT will “get a move on and properly licence these things”.

Mr Shapps responded: “I shall announce it on May 10.”

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However, the move has not been popular with everyone, with industry experts criticising the road safety dangers.

Edmund King, AA President, warned of the dangers that road users would face if they were to be legalised.

He 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.”

Government trials are currently active in 31 regions across England, under a number of different operators.

Last year, the Government extended trials further until November 30, 2022.

E-scooters part of these trials cannot exceed 15.5mph and are designed to carry no more than one person.

Geo-fencing technology is used and allows for greater flexibility for lower speeds, where appropriate, across trial areas.

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