Police chief urges Argos, Currys, Decathlon and Halfords to stop selling 'illegal' e-scooters in Milton Keynes

He has written to all four retailers
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Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber is urging four major retailers to stop the sale of illegal e-scooters

He has written to Argos, Currys, Decathlon and Halfords to ask them to reconsider selling their policies.

Even though it is legal to sell e-scooters, the use of them is currently illegal in all public places, except for on private land.

Argos, Halfords, Curry's and Decathlon are being urged by the police chief to stop selling e-scootersArgos, Halfords, Curry's and Decathlon are being urged by the police chief to stop selling e-scooters
Argos, Halfords, Curry's and Decathlon are being urged by the police chief to stop selling e-scooters

In Milton Keynes, scooters can be hired and used in public areas because we are part of a special pilot scheme. But privately-owned scooters do not come under this scheme.

In his letter to retailers, Matthew Barber said: “The use of privately owned e-scooters in public places is currently illegal. E-scooters are classed as motor vehicles, requiring insurance, which is currently not available. I know that you are aware of this fact, as you include a disclaimer on your website, yet you continue to offer these products for sale.”

He added: “Of course, I entirely accept the sale of e-scooters is perfectly legal as they could be used on private land, and indeed in due course the legal position may well change. I also appreciate as a commercial entity you are entitled, and indeed obliged to deliver profit for the business. Nevertheless, I would ask if you consider the continued sales to be consistent with being a responsible corporate citizen.

“Approved e-scooter pilots only operate in limited areas, provide insurance, and require a driving licence. Despite your disclaimer, you are well aware that the vast majority of these products sold in your stores and online will be used illegally. This is not just a technical point of law, but also one of risk to your customers and the wider public. Encouraging the use of these vehicles leads to uninsured, unlicensed riders on our roads, often without any safety equipment such as helmets.

“I fully understand that there is nothing to prevent you selling these products, but I would ask you to consider if it is responsible to continue to do so. No doubt, you feel the disclaimer gives you protection by having informed your customers, but we both know that this is a bureaucratic nicety.

"I would ask if you would be content for your children to ride an e-scooter illegally, potentially putting themselves and others at risk and urge you to reconsider your position.”

In December, Mr Barber issued a similar plea to parents not to give e-scooters to their children for a present.

He said at the time: “I expect Thames Valley Police to be stepping up enforcement on privately owned e-scooters. If you're using a private e-scooter you risk the vehicle being seized under S.165 Road Traffic Act 1988 for no insurance. You could also be fined up to £300 and be given six penalty points on your licence. For those caught using them under the age of 18, these penalties will be passed on to parents.

There was also a law change in December that means all new and existing members of electric scooter trials must provide their name and driving licence number.