Grant Shapps, Transport Minister for the UK Government, announced on 9 May that rental e-scooters will be trialled beginning in June, to encourage commuters to stay off public transport during the coronavirus pandemic. The aim is to assess the benefits of e-scooters.
The Department of Transport had originally chosen four Future Mobility Zones to conduct the trials, including the West Midlands, but now these will be offered to all local areas.
The Future Mobility Zones trial is part of the Government’s plan to invest £2 billion in cycling and walking to help get Britain moving again over the coming months. The e-scooter trial was originally planned for 2021.
E-scooters Not in the Trial will Remain Illegal
Electric scooters are currently illegal everywhere in the UK except on private land. The government is consulting on urgent legislation to allow trials of rental e-scooters to take place. E-scooters which are not part of the trial will still be illegal on the road, in cycle lanes and tracks, and on pavements.
The announcement followed the Parliamentary Transport Committee’s launch of an inquiry in April to look at legalising and examining their impact on congestion, and potential contribution to cutting emissions.