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New regulations to allow trials of rental e-scooters

Rental electric scooters will be allowed on roads, cycle lanes and tracks in the UK on a trial basis from this Saturday (4 July), the Government has said.

The Department for Transport said the trials were designed to help understand whether the devices reduce motor traffic, as well as their impacts on safety for their users and others. They will be strictly prohibited on pavements, will be limited to 15.5mph and riders are recommended to wear helmets.

Users will need a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence to take part in the trials, and must be 16 or over. To avoid a flood of poor-quality scooters onto the streets, the regulations only cover rental schemes, the DfT said.

Individually owned scooters will still be illegal on public roads.

Guidance for local authorities and operators can be viewed here. It covers:

  • background
  • timescales
  • proposed regulatory changes to allow trials
  • eligibility and trial requirements
  • designing and agreeing proposals
  • monitoring and evaluation, and DfT data requirements
  • governance and reporting

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: "As we emerge from lockdown, we have a unique opportunity in transport to build back in a greener, more sustainable way that could lead to cleaner air and healthier communities across Great Britain.

"E-scooters may offer the potential for convenient, clean and cost-effective travel that may also help ease the burden on the transport network, provide another green alternative to get around and allow for social distancing. The trials will allow us to test whether they do these things."

The DfT said the rental schemes would "involve leading companies in the industry from Great Britain and across the globe working closely with local authorities to provide a plan for the controlled introduction of e-scooters in cities, towns and rural areas".

Adam Carey

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