My response to the concerns about the safety of E-Scooters and other pedestrian vehicles
Thank you for contacting me about electric scooter trials.
As you will be aware, the Department for Transport (DfT) has been running a series of electric scooter trials in select areas across the country, allowing the Government to investigate the true benefits and costs of electric scooters.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, and as part of the most ambitious regulatory review of transport laws in a generation, the Department for Transport (DfT) had begun looking into the true benefits and costs of electric scooters. Then, as social distancing on public transport became a necessity, ministers accelerated and expanded planned trials of rental electric scooters in select areas of the country.
There is a full list of Government guidelines here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-scooter-trials-guidance-for-users
I appreciate that people with disabilities, especially those who are blind and visually impaired, can be more greatly affected by some of the negative impacts of electric scooter use.
It is important that our streets are as accessible as possible, and I welcome that the Department for Transport has carried out a preliminary assessment of the impacts of e-scooters on blind people.
The Government has spoken with a range of key stakeholders, including representatives from Guide Dogs, the Royal National Institute of Blind People, and the National Federation of the Blind of the UK.
Following consultation last year, the Department now requires all e-scooters used in trials to have a horn or bell so that users can make others aware of their presence and have also asked operators to develop more robust geo-fencing to tackle pavement riding and other anti-social behaviour.
It remains the case that privately owned electric scooters are illegal to use on roads, pavements and cycle lanes, and those considering buying these devices should be aware of this.
I understand that safety remains a concern for many. Data from the trials must be carefully scrutinised before any decision is made on whether they should be legalised.
I remain actively engaged on this issue.
Thank you once again for sharing your concerns.