Future Uncertain For e-Scooters

Wed 20th Jul 2022

The UK government as sent out a confusing message on the future of e-scooters after it was expected that the battery powered vehicles would be make legal this year.

Trials of e-scooters have been ongoing for the past two years across a wide range of locations in the UK, but only for rental, and not personal or private use. 

With schemes running in 30 cities and urban areas, there has been an explosion in the use of the e-scooters, particularly for commuters. But the issue has become problematic due to the amount of unlicensed e-scooters now being used on roads and public footpaths, particularly by younger members of society.

It was expected that e-scooters would be made legal following the end of the trial period this year, but the Department for Transport have indicated that they will be looking to extend the trial until May 2024, with no news on other use.

Providing a written response in the House of Commons, Trudy Harrison MP, under-secretary of state for transport said: “The Government has decided to allow current e-scooter trials, which are live in 30 areas across England, to be extended.

“The existing trials will continue to run until 30 November [2022] and participating local authorities will then have the option to end their local trial or extend it to 31 May 2024.

“Extensions will be restricted to existing trial areas only and will allow us to gather further evidence where gaps are identified, building on the findings of the current evaluation. We hope that all areas will want to continue, but there is no compulsion.”

The news will be unwelcome, particularly for those who see the e-scooters as a blight and a danger to British highways, but for those invested in the future of e-scooters it is a boost. 

“The trials so far have shown how micro-mobility adds to the transport mix and can get people out of cars. This extension is another sign that easy access to sustainable travel will remain a part of daily life for the foreseeable future,” said Georgia Yexley, from Tier, a company who has ran one of the trials.

"We are committed to ensuring e-scooters are incorporated into the cityscape safely and sustainably, in accordance with national and local regulations and requirements."