MPs to explore safety of e-scooters in new inquiry
The Transport Committee has launched an inquiry to explore whether electric scooters should be allowed on UK roads, including potential safety considerations.
The UK is the last major European economy where e-scooters are banned everywhere except on private land (with the landowner’s permission), and the Department for Transport is already running its own consultation on micromobility vehicles as it explores how new transport modes – including electric scooters – could revolutionise urban mobility ahead of trials this year.
However, this has caused concern for road safety organisations, in particular after YouTube star Emily Hartridge was killed in the UK last year when her e-scooter collided with a lorry.
The Transport Committee’s own short inquiry will consider whether e-scooters should be permitted on roads, cycles lanes and/or pavements, noting that any change in the law would require primary legislation, while also exploring benefits to congestion and the environment from their use.
Chair of the Transport Committee, Huw Merriman MP, said: “Electric scooters could be a useful lever to reduce our transport carbon footprint but their environmental credentials have yet to be proven. These ‘powered transporters’ could reduce the amount of time we spend in cars and reduce congestion but we don’t want to score an own goal by encouraging the use of micromobility vehicles instead of walking and cycling.
“Road safety is a significant consideration. We must consider the dangers to other road users and especially pedestrians with visual impairments or those who use mobility aids and rely on clear pavements. Safety must also be a factor for riders of e-scooters.”
The committee is calling for written evidence from manufacturers as well as the public.
For more details and to make a submission, click here. The closing date for written evidence is 2 June 2020.