Think tank calls for legalisation of private and shared e-scooters in UK

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Think tank Centre for London has called for both private and shared e-scooters to be legalised in the UK.

Setting out its recommendation in a report published on 23 September, Micromobility in London, Centre for London said that national government should legalise the use of e-scooters on public roads, and that Transport for London should be handed control of the rental scheme in the capital.

If legalised, the report recommended the implementation of “minimum safety standards at the point of sale and while being ridden, such as a maximum permitted speed and having lights”.

Shared e-scooter schemes have been ongoing in the UK since the summer of 2020, with the trial period set to conclude March of next year.

Meanwhile, it is currently illegal to ride a private e-scooter on public roads.

Centre for London advised that investment or policy surrounding micromobility should guided by the principles of putting pedestrian safety first, considering the user experience, contributing to net zero carbon emissions and making the service accessible to all.

The report called for the government to incentivise the use of micromobility through tax schemes and loans, while arguing that local authorities should provide parking and increase space for riders as required.

“Following the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, improving Londoners’ access to modes of travelling around their local area and the city more broadly could play an important role in the recovery of London’s high streets,” the report read.

“There is an opportunity to reduce the use of privately owned cars by enabling more people to cycle and use other forms of ‘micromobility’, such as e-bikes and e-scooters. Not only would this support the city to become carbon neutral, but it could also lead to cleaner air, less congested roads, safer streets, and increased mobility for Londoners.”

The report was sponsored by micromobility operators Dott and Voi.

The full list of recommendations can be found here.

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