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What’s the law on e-scooters?

During lock-down I have noticed loads of people riding electronic scooters in my local area. I am half tempted to buy one and use it to commute to work. Are these legal to use on roads and is there a speed limit?

Tony, Leeds



Electric scooters have become a familiar sight on our roads, but they have been technically illegal to ride in the UK – until now.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government brought their review of e-scooters forward and as of 4th July 2020 launched a trial scheme legalising e-scooters, but with very strict limitations.

You are able to ride e-scooters on roads and cycle lanes (not on pavements) and only as part of a hire scheme in pre-approved trial locations. You will need at least a provisional licence and be 16 or over. The e-scooters are currently limited to a maximum speed of 15.5mph, and although you don’t have to wear a helmet, it’s recommended.

This trial scheme is due to last 12 months and for the time being it will still be illegal to your ride your own e-scooter anywhere except on private land (subject to the permission of the landowner.) If you’re stopped by police riding a non-rental scooter you could still receive a £300 fixed penalty notice, plus penalty six points on your driving licence.

Realistically, it seems it will only be a matter of time before electric scooters are fully legalised in the UK. That said, expect them to be subject to stringent legal requirements covering: where they can be used, helmets, licensing, construction and speed.



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