With the COVID-19 pandemic making social distancing a priority, the UK government has been looking towards travel alternatives which follow the health guidelines provided by WHO. This has catapulted e-scooters to the forefront. Rental e-scooter trials were scheduled to be rolled out in 2021, but as of Saturday 4 July 2020, they have been finally been granted permission to be on UK roads and cycle lanes.
For e-scooter enthusiasts such as ourselves, this is a positive step towards the growth and legalisation of the electric mobility industry. A £2billion fund for green transport including e-scooters was issued by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in order to counter overcrowding on public transport during the pandemic.
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said the trials would allow the government to test whether e-scooters could offer “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”.
Although, the Department of Transport has allowed local areas in England, Scotland and Wales to bid for e-scooter rental proposals. Privately owned e-scooters are still illegal in public areas around the UK.
The guidelines set for the trial of e-scooters are given below:
- Trials will commence from 4 July to 31 August 2020 and can continue for 12 months
- Riders must be at least 16 years or older and possess a full or provisional UK driving license
- Helmets are recommended to be worn by riders
- E-scooters can only be hired or leased to be operated within the area holding the trial
- The speed limit for e-scooters is set to be up to 15.5 mph similar to EAPCs
- The motor power for e-scooters will be limited to 500W
- E-scooter riders must have motor insurance provided by your e-scooter rental operator
- Rental e-scooters can be used on the road (except motorways) and in cycle lanes
- Basic safety regulations should be kept in mind while operating the e-scooter
If the trials go well, there is a bright future ahead for e-scooter users. Moreover, it seems like the best possible option to tackle the pressure put on public transport and ensure a safe and eco-friendly commute. Now is the time to join the e-scooter community, so come and explore your options with Scootz.