When and where can I ride an e-scooter legally and what are the TFL rules? Leave a comment

Department for Transport statistics show 223 pedestrians were injured after being hit by e-scooters in Britain last year, including 63 who were seriously hurt.

Transport minister Trudy Harrison announced that English local authorities have the option of continuing pilot schemes for rental e-scooters until the end of May 2024.

This will allow the Government to “gather further evidence where gaps are identified, building on the findings of the current evaluation”.

There are currently 30 government-approved trials across England run which allow users to rent e-scooters, and they are currently the only way it is legal to ride an e-scooter on the public highway.

The trials launched in July 2020, and have already been extended a number of times. They are currently due to run until the end of November, but Trudy Harrison MP, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport, has confirmed they will now be extended further.

In a written response to a question tabled by Labour MP Gill Furniss, Harrison said: “The Government has decided to allow current e-scooter trials, which are live in 30 areas across England, to be extended.

“The existing trials will continue to run until 30 November [2022] and participating local authorities will then have the option to end their local trial or extend it to 31 May 2024.

“Extensions will be restricted to existing trial areas only and will allow us to gather further evidence where gaps are identified, building on the findings of the current evaluation. We hope that all areas will want to continue, but there is no compulsion.”

Here’s everything you need to know about how to ride e-scooters legally in the United Kingdom.

When and where can I ride an e-scooter legally and what are the rules?

(Andrew Matthews/PA)

/ PA Archive

Rental electric scooters (e-scooters) are the only way to legally ride an e-scooter on public roads or in other public places within London. It is still illegal to use privately-owned e-scooters or other powered transporters on public roads.

The London e-scooter rental scheme is approved by the Department for Transport (DfT). Privately-owned e-scooters or other powered transporters are not legal to use on public roads.

E-scooters and powered transporters may be used on private land with permission from the landowner or occupier but several laws make it illegal and/or spell out the penalties if you’re caught riding one on public roads:

  • Driving a motor vehicle with no insurance – you could be liable for a fixed penalty of £300 and six points on your driving licence
  • Driving vehicles on pavements is generally an offence – this applies at all times to all types of e-scooters and powered transporters
  • Riders must be 18 or over and have a full or provisional driving licence to rent an e-scooter

Some of the laws do not apply to mobility scooters or e-bikes (electrically-assisted pedal cycles) which are not treated as motor vehicles. The Gov.uk website has details of the law on powered transporters.

How can I rent an e-scooter?

You can rent the operators’ e-scooters through their mobile phone apps. You will need to:

  • Download the app of your chosen operator
  • Complete the registration process including verifying your age and driving licence
  • Complete the mandatory in-app training before your first ride

You will then be able to find an e-scooter. Use a QR code or vehicle ID displayed on the e-scooter to unlock that e-scooter in the relevant operator’s app.

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