E-Scooter Trials

The Department for Transport (DfT) has been running a series of electric scooter trials in select areas across the country, allowing the Government to investigate the true benefits and costs of electric scooters. E-scooters could ease the burden on the transport network, although the Government needs to scrutinise the full impact of electric scooters before any decision is made on whether they should be legalised on public roads.

The use of e-scooters outside of these controlled trials is illegal unless it is on private land with the landowner's permission, and there are penalties for improper use.

Some councils have raised concerns about the trials after reports of misuse of scooters, such as in pedestrianised areas. This is against the clear government guidance first published in 2020, which lists the rules for members of the general public using e-scooters as part of trials. The full list of guidelines can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-scooter-trials-guidance-for-users.  

The trials will provide evidence on the true impact of electric scooters, for example: how safe they are; how they are used; whether potential benefits can be realised; and on how to manage potential downsides. It is important to note that, in the 32 e-scooter trials ongoing across the country, only selected rental electric scooters are being allowed to participate so that the data is both robust and meaningful.

The original deadline for the end of the trials was 30 November 2021, but trials were extended to take into account the slower start to trials as a result of the pandemic. Trials will run until 30 November 2022 and a full set of findings will be included in a final report.

I understand the Government has put in place a national monitoring and evaluation programme, with data being collected on a continuous basis.


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