MPs recommend legalising e-scooters as Portsmouth gets set to trial scheme

A CROSS-PARTY movement of MPs has recommended the legalisation e-scooters in the UK.

By Neil Fatkin
Friday, 2nd October 2020, 2:55 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd October 2020, 5:46 pm
A cross party committee has recommended the legalisation of e-scooters. Portsmouth is set to take part in an e-scooter hire scheme starting in the spring.
A cross party committee has recommended the legalisation of e-scooters. Portsmouth is set to take part in an e-scooter hire scheme starting in the spring.

E-scooters are currently permitted in most European countries but are illegal on public roads in the UK despite their widespread sale and use.

However, the transport select committee of MPs, who have been looking into legalising the use of the scooters, have recommended that privately owned e-scooters should be permitted.

The committee are also hoping to promote e-scooters as a viable more environmentally friendly alternative to cars for short journeys.

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Conservative MP Huw Merriman, who chairs the committee, said: ‘The UK remains the last major European economy where e-scooters are still banned to use anywhere except on private land and their use on UK roads is currently illegal.

‘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.’

Part of the committees role is to examine the success of trial e-scooter hire schemes being run in cities across the country including a trial scheme which is set to be introduced in Portsmouth in the spring.

Speaking previously about the scheme, council transport boss, Lynne Stagg, praised the initiative but only if e-scooters were used in a safe and responsible way.

She said: ‘I think electric scooters are a brilliant idea if they are ridden properly.

‘The trouble is so many people are using them already but they are illegal and these people seem to have no road sense whatsoever. The number of near accidents I have seen is horrendous.’

Under the proposed trial, riders have to be over 17 and scooters have to be hired from regulated providers. The scooters are also ‘geo-fenced’ and so will only work in designated areas.

Plans to legalise the use of private scooters will come as a concern to some people, including Cosham resident John Simmonds who previously spoke to The News regarding his concerns after ‘seeing near-misses near care homes and retirement flats’.

Under the committees proposals for legalisation they recommended the requirement for a driving licence should be dropped and said that local authorities should be allowed to determine maximum speeds.

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