Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, announced in the House of Lords today that the UK Government will be creating a new vehicle class for e-scooters.
Vere said: “Safety is at the heart of our plans to create a regulatory framework for smaller, lighter, zero-emission vehicles, sometimes known as e-scooters. Their popularity is clear and new rules are needed to improve safety and crack down on illegal use whilst unlocking innovation and growth in this emerging multi-billion pound industry.
“To that end, it is our intention that this bill will create a low speed, zero-emission vehicle category that is independent from the cycle and motorcycle categories.
“New powers would allow the government to decide the vehicles that fall into this new category in the future and how they should be regulated to make sure that they are safe to use. We hope that e-scooters will be the first of these vehicles.”
This means a new bill planned for later this year will legalise e-scooters for use on public roads.
Scooter retailers and rental firms welcomed the announcement saying this would lead to more people taking up the transport option.
Pure Electric Founder Adam Norris said: “The introduction of a new low-speed zero-emission vehicle category is a hugely exciting next step in unlocking the safe and legal use of e-scooters – revolutionising commuting for millions of people.
“We urge the Government to act as quickly as possible to deliver on this promise. The announcement comes at a crucial time as over 13m lower earners are faced with soaring commuting and fuel costs and desperately in need of lower-cost, sustainable alternatives.”
INOKIM Founder and CEO Kfir Ben-Shooshan told Zag Daily: “This is great news for UK commuters. We are looking forward to delivering our premium micromobility experience to London and the rest of the UK. Having just opened a store in central London, this could not have come at a better time.”
Jack Samler, General Manager at Voi UK and Ireland, added: “We welcome the plan to create a new independent vehicle category and legalise e-scooters in the UK. Over 12 million rides were taken on Voi e-scooters and e-bikes since the launch of the trials, with a 39% modal shift from cars to e-scooters, representing an estimated 4.5 million short car trips replaced. Shared e-scooter schemes, such as Voi’s, have successfully demonstrated that they can be safely integrated with other forms of public transport, bicycles and walking to give people carbon-free transport options.”