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E-scooters should be legal to use on UK roads within the next 18 months, according to MPs.

The controversial mode of transport is yet to be legalised in the UK for roads and pavements, despite being readily available to buy. However, Parliament’s Transport Committee has said that they should be legalised in a bid to cut journeys and reduce pollution.

MPs are still concerned about the use of them on pavements, though, because of their ability to travel at speeds of 15mph or higher, which could pose a danger to pedestrians.

Because of how a ‘motor vehicle’ is classified in the UK, and the need for it to have number plates and the rider or driver to have a licence and insurance, e-scooters remain banned in the UK, unlike most other European countries. MPs are now calling for this to be opened up, with several areas – including Milton Keynes and Hartlepool – already trialling the scooters ahead of a further rollout. Private use of them remains illegal, though.

Committee chair Huw Merriman said: “E-scooters have the potential to become an exciting and ingenious way to navigate our streets and get from place to place.

“If this gets people out of the car, reducing congestion and exercising in the open air, then even better.

“But need to ensure that their arrival on our streets doesn’t make life more difficult for pedestrians, and especially disabled people. Before proceeding with plans to legalise the use of e-scooters, local authorities and Government must use the trials to monitor this closely, put enforcement measures in place and ensure they are effective in eliminating this behaviour.”

While it’s unlikely to be signed into law, riders will be strongly encouraged to wear a helmet, while the Transport Committee said that the government should monitor the number of collisions that take place.

Ted Welford

By

October 2, 2020

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