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E-scooters: genie out of the bottle?

07 September 2020
Roermond in the Netherlands is using a new design of e-scooter with large wheels. Escooters are not currently legal in most of the Netherlands
Roermond in the Netherlands is using a new design of e-scooter with large wheels. Escooters are not currently legal in most of the Netherlands
Landor LINKS ran a webinar, supported by e-scooter operator Dott, on 5 August which looked at how to run a successful scheme. View the video free online: https://tinyurl.com/y6dp63yq
Landor LINKS ran a webinar, supported by e-scooter operator Dott, on 5 August which looked at how to run a successful scheme. View the video free online: https://tinyurl.com/y6dp63yq

 

Ruth Cadbury MP is a member of the Transport Select Committee, which is about to publish its findings into potential micro-mobility futures across England. New regulations allowing trials of rental e-scooters came into force in July 2020, announced by Transport Minister Rachel Maclean. Several pilot schemes are now running across England.

In early July, the Transport Committee heard from witnesses in a session “E-scooters: pavement nuisance or transport innovation?”, aimed at exploring the safety and legal implications of electric scooters, their impact on congestion, and potential contribution to reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. A second session in mid-July featured Transport Minister Rachel Maclean, and the Committee’s inquiry on this emerging policy area will shortly be published.

Micro-mobility is high on the political agenda and Cadbury is awaiting the Inquiry outputs. She commented: “The reality is, hundreds if not thousands of e-scooters are being sold every month. They are on our streets. I don't know if it’s possible to put the genie back in the bottle if there was a serious attempt to ban e-scooters. They are likely to be part of our transport mix, as are other possible forms of transport that we don’t even know about at the moment,” she adds. “I think it all comes down to the fact that we are all getting about differently, so ensuring that we are all able to do it safely, and in the context of travelling along with other road users is the key. We have to get along together and the Government needs to act quickly. We’ve not been as quick in the UK as other countries have to bring in regulation that helps to keep us safe.”

Minister Rachel Maclean, speaking to the second Transport Select Committee hearing, agreed that we need to be flexible. “There are risks to introducing a new mode of transport, and the existing evidence base is weak. That is why we are running the trials. It will provide an opportunity for us to assess the safety and the wider impacts of this type of vehicle and the service.”

Maclean added: “I want to stress to the Committee that it is not a done deal. We need to consider carefully whether legalising e-scooters is right for this country. If we do decide to legalise them, the trials will help us to make sure we have the right laws in place to guarantee the highest consumer safety.”

 
 
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