THE BIG QUESTION – WILL E-SCOOTERS BE LEGALISED IN THE UK?
With the world clamouring for a solution to the need for personal, environmentally friendly travel, it seems a little odd that the viability of E-scooters would even be in question. Trials are currently taking place in 50 UK cities which will ultimately provide the evidence that will back whichever decision our government makes in 2022. But the reasons to follow in the footsteps of Germany, France, Austria, Spain and many other countries by legalizing e-scooters seem numerous and undeniable.
Firstly, there’s the environmental aspect in regard to which E-scooters contribute absolutely nothing to air pollution. Then there’s the practicality for users created by their low operating costs and even lower maintenance costs. Finally there’s the effect on other road users which is minimal. They cause far less noise pollution than conventional forms of transport and, as I’m sure motorists will be happy to hear, they don’t contribute to our already congested city streets. And all of this comes before we even begin to discuss the fact that E-scooters are simply the most fun you can have on two wheels. The fact is that we are the last major economy in Europe in which e-scooters are still banned as reported by the House of Commons Transport Committee.
Yes, there are arguments against their legalisation, such as the safety for blind or partially sighted pedestrians or a general increase in road accidents, but both of these critiques are easily fixable by the implementation of the proper infrastructure: official scooter lanes for example.
Regardless of the push back, it seems clear to most that within the next year or so we will legally be able to ride E-scooters on public roads, albeit with some restrictions. Many of these are what you’d expect anyway. As with any road legal vehicle we will expect to see scooters subjected to certain registration, licensing and insurance requirements as well as being saddled with number plates or some other easily discernible numerical identification system. Of course, we expect that a speed limit of 25 km/hour and the obligation to wear a helmet will be mandatory as well. While Scooters are as much fun for kids as they are for adults, it’s unlikely that anyone below the age of 18 will be allowed to take any powered vehicle on public roads, and to help prevent any danger to the partially sighted or otherwise impaired pedestrians we expect that E-scooters will be fitted with some means of producing an easily identifiable sound.
As with any major government rollout we expect all of these restrictions to be advertised and backed by a nationwide public awareness campaign, but regardless of the hurdles, ultimately the results seem to be unavoidable. With major companies such as Halfords backing a petition to legalise E-scooters, and with continued success with our European neighbors, it’s only a matter of time, until you can take to the road, and play your part, in the two wheeled green revolution, and there’s no better place than the Electric Scooter Store to make your preparations!