MPs have called on the government to legalize UK e-scooters and advertise them to motorists as a green alternative to short trips.
The Cross-Party Commons Transport Select Committee said scooters should only be allowed on limited, British roads for use in valid regional trials. They also called for strong enforcement to stop their use on sidewalks, which they said were dangerous and anti-social and a barrier for pedestrians and people with disabilities.
E-scooters are allowed in most European countries but they are illegal on public roads in the UK despite widespread sales and use. Government-backed trials, limited to shared public rental projects, began in the summer in Middlesbrough, followed by other pilots in the West Midlands, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire.
The committee recommended that privately owned e-scooters should also be allowed and called on the Department of Transportation to encourage their use as an alternative to short car travel. However, he warned that it would be counterproductive for people to move away from more active and healthy travel, such as cycling and walking.
Conservative MP Hugh Merriamman, who chairs the committee, said: “The UK remains the latest European economy where e-scooters are still banned from use anywhere other than private land and their use on UK roads is currently illegal.
“E-scooters have the potential to become an exciting and intelligent way for us to navigate our roads and get from place to place. This is even better if you get out of the car to reduce traffic congestion and practice in the open air. “
Judicial in the UK, run by various agencies looking for a portion of the growing sector, does not think the move will be straightforward. The rollout slowed across Teside after widespread complaints about e-scooters being carried in shopping centers and with dual carriages. The Coventry project was shut down just five days later last month due to vehicle misuse. It was announced on Wednesday that Liverpool would be the next city to run the pilot scheme.
The committee said the need for a driving license, which requires people to take part in trials, should be eliminated and local authorities should be allowed to set the maximum speed. The UK trial models are capable of a maximum speed of 15.5 MPF.
AA supported the call to legalize scooters but there must be a national speed limit. It said the safest option would be to use the cycle path for vehicles and train users before going on public highways.
The dangers of e-scooters were raised again when the coroner’s investigation found the death of a second driver in the UK. Barry House, 57, died in July in Chatham, Kent, while using an e-scooter on a steep hill.
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