Use of private electric scooters due to be made legal in Milton Keynes

Hundreds of privately-owned electric scooters could soon join the fleet of hire models currently whizzing around in MK.

By Sally Murrer
Monday, 9th May 2022, 3:55 pm

Transport Minister Grant Shapps has announced that legislation to properly regulate their use will be included in the Queen’s Speech tomorrow, May 10.

Currently, e-scooters can only be used on the roads if they are part of officially recognised trials – and Milton Keynes was one of 32 cities around England selected for such a trial in 2020.

Since then, MK Council MK has been working with providers Lime, Spin and Ginger to hire out scooters fitted with automatic lights and a restricted top speed of 15.5mph.

Private e-scooters are being more and more popular.

A special temporary traffic order had to be taken out to allow the hired e-scooters to be used on public redways, footpaths and some minor estate roads.

And, until now, it has been illegal to use a privately-owner scooter on anywhere other than private land.

Despite this, the unregulated use of private e-scooters has become growing issue in MK and the rest of the country, with rising numbers of collisions and injuries involving rider.

Mr Shapps told the Commons Transport Select Committee recently that e scooters are here to stay and should be “made safe” by standards set down in law.

He said an announcement about the legalisation surrounding e-scooters will be made in the Queen's Speech tomorrow.

He told the Commons Transport Select Committee: 'We will take powers to properly regulate and then be able to decide the usage of

Around one million e-scooters have been sold in the UK. Riders caught using an e-scooter on public roads face the same punishments as other drivers breaking the law, including fines of up to £300 and up to six penalty points.

Reacting to Mr Shapp’s announcement to the Commons transport select committee, committee member Simon Jupp expressed concerns over the plan, saying there have been “900 collisions, 11 of which were fatal”.

Mr Shapps replied: “They’re a reality, they exist...If these things exist they need to be made safe, and I think the trials have been useful in gathering data and there’s more data still to gather.”

E-scooters are viewed by many as an affordable and convenient mode of urban transport but there are concerns about their safety - for both riders and other road users.