What's changed?

It will become legal to ride e-scooters on Britain's roads from Saturday, 4 July 2020. The change applies only to rentals with private scooters remaining illegal.

Under the new rules set out by the DfT, local authorities and devolved administrations in England, Scotland and Wales can run e-scooter sharing schemes as part of a year-long trial.

Users will need to hold a provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence, and must be at least 16 years old. The speed limit will be 15.5mph (25km/h) and the scooters are banned from being used on pavements.


person on an e-scooter

Photo by Sonia Medina licensed under CC BY 3.0

What's the problem?

We’re concerned at the speed with which the government is moving forward with e-scooter trials and the loose guidance given to local authorities. 


E-scooters are harder to handle than bicycles. They have smaller wheels, the footplates are closer to the ground and if you meet a pothole you are much more likely to come off than if you are cycling.

The poor state of our roads combined with high levels of traffic lead us to believe that we don't have the right infrastructure currently in place to support e-scooters. This could lead to people scooting on the pavement because they are scared to use the road.

RNIB and the Bicycle Association agree that the current cycling infrastructure is not up to the job, with cycling groups having additional concerns around the technical specification of e-scooters and penalty structure in particular.


Extra space for walking, cycling and scooting is required for the safe use of e-scooters.

Scooter parking is a must to stop people dumping them on the footway when they’re finished with them, as is placing scooter parking in the carriageway to avoid taking space away from people walking. 

Dockless rental schemes cause obstructions when they are placed on the footway. The Department for Transport should be saying that trials dockless schemes will not be approved. Cities and towns worldwide have tried them and they don't work for pedestrians.

Power and speed

The speed, acceleration and fact that e-scooters are very quiet are all going to cause alarm and potential danger to more vulnerable pedestrians, including children, those with mobility issues and those living with sight loss.

The implications when e-scooters are ridden in poor weather conditions, on busy roads, by inexperienced and potentially drunk users do not bear thinking about.



Watch Dr Rachel Lee, Policy and Research Manager at Living Streets, give evidence on e-scooters to the Transport Select Committee.


Visit parliament.tv

Consultation responses

Read our responses to the Future of transport regulatory review and the Transport Select Committee call for evidence into E-scooters

Add your voice, join our movement

"Living Streets is concerned at the speed with which the government is moving forward with e-scooter trials and the Loose guidance given to local authorities. And I am too."

If you share our concern about the pace the government is moving on e-scooters and the impact this might have on the walking environment, join us and sign up for our emails today.

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