Private electric scooters will soon be legal on the roads, with the Transport Secretary pledging on Wednesday to introduce “powers to properly regulate them”.
Grant Shapps said the legislation will be included in the Queen’s Speech on May 10.
Electric scooters can currently only be used on English roads if they are part of rental scheme trials, which involve safety features such as top speeds of 15.5mph and automatic lights.
Privately owned ones are legally restricted for use on private land, but are commonplace in towns and cities.
Mr Shapps told the Commons Transport Select Committee that ‘in future I want to crack down on the illegal use of non-compliant electric scooters on the roads’.
Committee member Simon Jupp said there were “900 collisions, 11 of which were fatal” in 2021.
He expressed concern that Mr Shapps’ comments indicate that the Department for Transport (DfT) is considering allowing private electric scooters to be used on roads as long as they meet similar safety specifications to those of the tests.
“Practical, cheap and environmentally friendly”
Mr Shapps replied: ‘We will take powers to properly regulate and then can decide how to use them.
“They are a reality, they exist.
“If these things exist, they need to be secure, and I think the trials have been useful in collecting data and there is still data to be collected. »
Ben Bradshaw, the Labor MP for Exeter, described e-scooters as a ‘convenient, cheap and environmentally friendly form of transport’ when asking Mr Shapps when the DfT will ‘move on and properly license these things “.
In his response, Mr Shapps said: “I will announce it on May 10. »
Speaking after the session, AA President Edmund King said: ‘The government is right to tackle this problem and introduce regulations rather than allowing some of our towns to be overrun as the Wild West with illegal scooters.
“Micro-mobility and electronic technology can have a positive effect on travel in our cities, but we need to ensure travel is safe. »