Current micro-mobility legislation: An update from e-RIDES
Where can I legally take my e-scooter?
This is the most commonly asked question to us here at e-RIDES, so let’s clear a few things up.
We were anticipating an update on the legality of e-Scooters in the UK in the recent Queen’s speech, but, alas, there wasn’t one. This doesn’t help the uncertainty that is currently being felt by users and the public alike!
So for now, as a country, we are currently operating under the most recent guidance.
Here’s a quick recap of where we stand.
What are e-scooter rental schemes?
Rental schemes have been in place since 2018, when Queen Elizabeth Park in East London started theirs in November of that year.
Every month, more and more local authorities have jumped on board, seeing the opportunity to meet carbon emission targets and contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
These trial rental schemes allow for e-scooters to be used legally on the road as long as they have been hired from an operator of a trial scheme.
There are however some rules that apply. The main points are as follows:
- You must have insurance in place; this is usually provided by the scheme operator
- You must have at least a provisional driving licence
- Speeds must not exceed 15.5 mph
- Power must not exceed 500W
- Weight must not exceed 55kg
- You must stick to roads and cycle lanes…but not motorways
- Directional and speed control must be via the handlebars
Where are e-scooter rental trials?
It seems then that the trial scheme has been a real success. There are over 20,000 e-scooters in circulation across the many authorities that are running schemes. Here’s a list of these places as of June 2022:
- Bournemouth and Poole
- Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Princes Risborough)
- Cheshire West and Chester (Chester)
- Copeland (Whitehaven)
- Essex (Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Colchester)
- Gloucestershire (Cheltenham and Gloucester)
- Great Yarmouth
- Kent (Canterbury)
- London (participating boroughs)
- Milton Keynes
- North and West Northamptonshire (Northampton, Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough)
- North Devon (Barnstaple)
- North Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe)
- Oxfordshire (Oxford)
- Solent (Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton)
- Somerset West (Taunton and Minehead)
- South Somerset (Yeovil)
- Tees Valley (Hartlepool and Middlesbrough)
- West Midlands (Birmingham, Coventry and Sandwell)
- West of England Combined Authority (Bristol and Bath)
What are the rules for privately owned e-scooters?
In the UK, you can only legally use an e-scooter if it part of a trial. Therefore, if you are caught using a private scooter, or you are not following the guidelines, then you could be fined on the spot. Additionally, you could get points on your licence…and worst of all, your wheels could be impounded by the police.
What is the position around the world?
One of our frustrations is that the UK is trailing behind many other countries. Europe, for example, has many countries where e-scooters are permitted. From Portugal to Poland, it seems that we are miles behind. In fact, only Cyprus, Denmark, Holland and Ireland are in the same situation as the UK. However, let’s look on the bright side as this clearly indicates that legalisation is on its way.
It’s more a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’.
What about EUCs?
As you can see, the trial schemes only cover e-scooters. And, since there are stipulations around how direction and speed are managed, EUCs are not covered by the scheme.
However, as with e-scooters, many countries around the world are taking an inclusive approach to EUCs.
Don’t despair though! Most of the legislation that is covered by the trial scheme also applies to EUCs. There is too much shared technology to think that EUCs won’t follow where e-scooters are leading. Therefore, we fully expect that the position will change for the better before too long.
Where can I legally ride my EUC?
Until the legal position changes, you can take your e-scooter or EUC onto private land, with the land-owner’s consent, without fear of consequence. Hook up with an online EUC forum to find out where other enthusiasts are taking theirs.
This is also a good time to remind you that e-RIDES HQ is about to open, and we have our own test area on private land when you can come with your EUC!
You can find us at Unit 21, Greenwich Centre Business Park, London SE10 9QF