In a report published today, E-scooters: pavement nuisance or transport innovation, the Parliamentary Committee says that e-scooters have the potential to offer a low cost, accessible and environmentally friendly alternative to the private car.
Whilst supporting the introduction and use of e-scooters, the Committee advises that current rental trials and any plans for legalisation should not be to the detriment of pedestrians, particularly disabled people.
The Committee calls for robust enforcement measures to eliminate pavement use of e-scooters, which the report says is dangerous and anti-social. If the Government supports the Committee’s recommendation and decides to legalise privately owned e-scooters, the law should clearly prohibit their use on pavements and ensure that such enforcement measures are effective in eliminating this behaviour.
The Transport Committee further caveats its report by calling for a sensible and proportionate regulatory framework for the legal use of electric scooters, based firmly on evidence gained from current rental trials and from other countries. The current rental trials should allow important evidence and data to determine the best way to legally incorporate both rental and privately owned e-scooters within the UK’s transport mix.
The Department for Transport must also encourage the use of e-scooters to replace short car journeys rather than walking and cycling. The Committee warns that it would be counter-productive if an uptake in e-scooters, whether rental or private, primarily replaced more active and healthy forms of travel and calls for the Department to continue promoting active travel as a key policy.