HUNDREDS of e-scooter riders are breaking the law by riding on public land across Bournemouth and Poole.
Recent sunny weather has seen an influx of the scooters, particularly along the promenade at the beach.
But only those operated by bike and scooter hire firm Beryl can be used in public areas under current laws.
And those should only be ridden by over 16s with current provisional or full driving licences.
Now beach hut owners have called for them to be banned.
The ban for privately-owned e-scooters includes paths, car parks, beach promenades, cycle lanes and bridleways.
But recent days have seen hundreds of people riding privately-owned scooters on public land.
Many riders appear to be well below the legal driving age and many scooters are carrying more than one person, sometimes including small children with no helmets.
The Beryl hire scheme offers uses a map of where users can and cannot ride in the area. They cannot be used on pavements or in pedestrianised areas.
Users must be over 16 and hold a valid provisional or full UK driving licence which will be verified by Beryl before the e-scooter is hired. Riders are encouraged to wear a helmet. Insurance is included in the hire fee.
Ann Gerrard, chair of the Bournemouth Beach Hut Association, said: “I think it is going to be very dangerous along the prom as the beach gets busier.
“It is bad enough with the cyclists but the e-scooters are going to make it worse. They go far too fast and people can’t hear them coming.”
A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “It is important to point out that only the e-scooters hired under the Beryl scheme can be used on public roads and cycle lanes in Bournemouth and Poole.
“It is still illegal for privately owned e-scooters to be ridden on public land. An electric scooter is classified as a motor vehicle and therefore the rider is subject to the same requirements as they would be if driving a car.
“It is illegal to use privately owned e-scooters on pavements, cycle lanes, beach promenades, bridleways or any other publicly accessible land such as a park or car park. You are only legally permitted to ride non scheme e-scooters on private property.”
Misuse of e-scooters could lead to fines or penalty points on your licence and the scooter could also be impounded.
Bournemouth and Poole is one of 27 trial areas across the country. The trial will run until November and will shape further government policy as it looks for environmentally-friendly travel options.
Beryl has revealed that its e-scooters in Bournemouth and Poole have travelled more than 36,000 miles since they were introduced at the end of January.