Private e-scooters could soon be legal on public roads

Private e-scooters could soon be legal to ride on public roads, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has suggested.

According to the Press Association, Mr Shapps is keen for the legislation to be included in the Queen’s Speech on May 10.

Currently, e-scooters can only be legally used on England’s roads if they are part of trials of rental schemes, which involve safety features such as maximum speeds of 15.5mph and automatic lights. Those that are privately owned are legally restricted for use on private land, but are a common sight in towns and cities.

Mr Shapps has told the House of Commons Transport Select Committee that “in the future, I want to crack down on the illegal use on roads of non-compliant e-scooters”.

Committee member Simon Jupp said there have been “900 collisions, 11 of which were fatal”. He expressed concern that Mr Shapps’ comments indicate the Department for Transport (DfT) is considering allowing private e-scooters to be used on roads as long as they meet similar safety specifications as those in the trials.

Mr Shapps replied: “We will take powers to properly regulate and then be able to decide the usage of them. They’re a reality, they exist. If these things exist they need to be made safe, and I think the trials have been useful in gathering data and there’s more data still to gather.”

Another committee member, Ben Bradshaw, described e-scooters as a “convenient, cheap and environmentally-friendly form of transport” as he asked Mr Shapps when the DfT will “get a move on and properly license these things”. In his response, Mr Shapps said: “I shall announce it on May 10.”

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