More than 50 organisations have co-signed a joint letter to the Prime Minister urgently appealing for the legalisation of e-scooters. CoMoUK wrote and organised the letter, acquiring signatures from environmental charities and campaigners, local authorities, disabled people’s organisations, micro-mobility operators, and retailers.
The current law around e-scooters means that it is illegal to ride them on roads, pavements, and cycle lanes. The “power transporters” can only be legally used on private land with the landowner’s consent, making them near-impossible to use as a mode of urban transport. E-scooter government trials are currently the only method to legally riding the scooters in urban areas.
Organisations such as Bolt, Clean Cities, Lime, Milton Keynes City Council, Human Forest, and dozens more have all signed the appeal.
The letter, written directly to the Prime Minister himself, said:
“We the undersigned now urgently request your government act to ensure Low-speed, Zero Emission Vehicles are legislated for and that towns and cities are able to enter long-term arrangements with responsible transport operators providing a service enabling people to forgo private car use.”
The appeal was also sent to the transport secretary, Mark Harper, and the minister of state, Jesse Norman.
The current short-term e-scooter trials in the UK, that are government-led, have placed a 15.5mph speed limit on all of the scooters involved. According to a report by the government, e-scooter accident rates triple every year and there were 12 e-scooter fatalities in 2022. However, CoMoUK’s government letter said that this safety risk “is where legislation and regulation can make a positive difference.”
The national organisation for shared transport highlighted that 60% of people are supportive of new measures to regulate the use of e-scooters and 73% believe new regulations should be introduced before the next General Election.
The UK’s slow pace at e-scooter regulation was also made relevant in the letter:
“The Clean Cities Campaign has recently found that UK cities are lagging well behind other European cities in the rollout of shared and zero-emissions transport including e-scooters. Major shared transport operators stand ready to continue investing and improving transport across UK towns and cities, however, they require long-term certainty that would only come with legislation.”