Micro-Mobility legality in 2022: A NEW update from e-RIDES
“Can I ride my EUC on public roads in the UK?”
“Are Scooters legal in the UK?”
Micro-Mobility legality in the UK is a hot topic. These are just two examples of the many questions that we get asked here at E-RIDES HQ. So, with the end of summer and a new cabinet in place at the Houses of Parliament, we thought it would be a good time to give a policy update, as well as an opinion formed by our own recent experiences.
e-RIDES are micro-mobility fanatics. We adore everything to do with the world of e-scooters and electric unicycles, or EUCs. We are advocates of the huge societal benefits to be gained by an open-minded approach to Micro-Mobility legality on the streets of the UK.
So, it was with huge anticipation that we waited for a policy announcement from government in Spring 2022. We were to be disappointed, though. The Johnson government seemed to kick the can into the long grass yet again. This was in spite of claiming, in May, that ‘new rules to expand legal use of e-scooters are a priority for the upcoming year’.
How frustrating is this? Particularly in light of our European cousins seeing greater and greater flexibilities in their countries with regard to Micro-Mobility legality.
Policy change with EUCs?
Liz Truss didn’t waste much time in making wholesale changes to her top team. The outgoing minister for transport, Grant Shapps, seemed unable to make his mind up on the matter of legalising micro-mobility devices. Whilst declaring he was going to clamp down on the use of e-scooters, he also said that private e-scooters that met the government’s standards would soon be legalised.
The new minister for transport, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, was installed on September 6th 2022. We’re sure that she will have a large in-tray to deal with, but unfortunately the omens don’t look great! As recently as 2012, she was on record questioning whether humans were mainly responsible for climate change. And, she has long been a lobbyist for an increase in road usage. So, perhaps we won’t hold our breathe for a policy change on Micro-Mobility legality in the near future.
What does this mean for EUC legality?
Any change in parliament’s cabinet is an opportunity for the legal framework around Micro-Mobility legality to be looked at again. We understand that events so far in 2022 have meant that this may not have been the priority that it was earlier in the year. Nevertheless, it is with renewed hope that the new cabinet will take a more sensible and pragmatic view when it comes to legalising the use of e-scooters and EUCs.
So, for the time being, the present law stays in place. In short this means that you can only ride your EUC on private land with the land-owner’s permission. For e-scooters, you can only ride a scooter that is part of one of the government-backed rental schemes and within the parameters of that scheme. For a complete guide on exactly what this means for you, you can access our guidance here: https://e-rides.com/blog/current-micro-mobility-legislation-an-update-from-e-rides/
To realise how badly the UK now compares to other countries, the list of which countries have now legalised all forms of micro-mobility is growing longer and longer! It really feels like the government are trying to hold back the tide on Micro-Mobility legality.
e-RIDES: Our experience of current EUC logistics
We have additional reason to be frustrated at e-RIDES. This year has seen huge disruption to the customs importation process, meaning delays to shipments of some of our e-scooters and EUCs.
Even though a container destined for e-RIDES can spend up to two months on the sea, the bulk of the delays are occurring on UK soil.
These delays have a double impact. Firstly, they are causing delays when fulfilling some of our orders. However, as if to rub salt into our wounds, we also get charged rental fees for every day that one shipment is warehoused at the discretion of customs!
And, not only are these delays becoming more frequent, but the duration of the delays is also getting longer and longer.
So, we would love to know: are the government stifling our industry through customs and excise? Is this due to the lack of clarity around micro-mobility legality? We’d like to think not, but one thing is for certain – they certainly aren’t helping!
Why is this? Is it simply resistance to change? Is it age-related discrimination? Are the big corporates getting worried about our wonderful ‘disruptive’ technology and putting pressure on the government?
What can you do when it comes to Micro-Mobility legality?
At e-RIDES, we believe that micro-mobility is a force for good. There are benefits to be had in terms of personal health, not to mention the positive impact on climate change. At e-RIDES we also understand that there has to be a level of law-making around what you should and shouldn’t be able to do on your EUC or e-scooter on UK roads. But a blank refusal to progress seems out of tune and counter-productive, particularly at a time when other modes of transport are becoming prohibitively expensive. We need some clarity around micro-mobility legality!
However, there are things that you can do!
You can of course write to your local MP to raise your frustration. Or better still, if you are in the Berwick upon Tweed constituency of Anne-Marie Trevelyan, drop in and see her! Anne-Marie can also be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
However, a group of voices is always going to be able to shout louder than one voice, so another positive step is to join one of the many lobbying groups online. Perhaps your preferred forum has one – if not, have a chat with the moderator and get something started.
Alternatively, signing petitions is a critical part of our democracy. There are a number of these available for Micro-Mobility legality – here’s one which is in progress for the city of London:
One thing is for sure – we aren’t going to give up on our passion. Micro-mobility is here to stay!
We’d love to hear your thoughts, so do get in touch at email@example.com