BICYCLES, mopeds and motorbikes could soon be joined on the public road by another group of two-wheeled contraption: the electrically-powered micro-scooter.
The “Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy” guidelines published this week by the Department for Transport (DfT) propose a new testing regime and regulatory framework that would allow vehicles such as electric micro-scooters to be used on British roads.
The proposed rules would apply to other “micromobility” vehicles that aren’t currently allowed on the public road, such as electrically-powered skateboards.
The DfT says making small vehicles road-legal would “open up new avenues for urban mobility”, and help make tasks like short-range deliveries in towns and cities easier.
The micromobility regulations are also expected to play a part in the government’s Road to Zero ambitions, which aims to reduce the exhaust emissions of all new cars sold in the UK to “effectively zero” by 2040.
UK traffic laws currently forbid electric micro-scooter owners from using their vehicles on public roads and footpaths. As “personal light electric vehicles”, electric micro-scooters and the like can only be used on private land.
The DfT also put forward plans to improve road travel in the UK. These concepts include using open data sharing to help streamline public transport services, developing procedures for advanced autonomous tech tests, and launching an investment fund to accelerate the roll-out of electric vehicle charging points across the country.
Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “We are at a potentially pivotal moment for the future of transport, with revolutionary technologies creating huge opportunities for cleaner, cheaper, safer and more reliable journeys.
“Through this strategy the government aims to take advantage of these innovations; connecting more people and bringing big benefits we hope for both the economy and the environment.”
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “We look forward to working closely with government and local authorities to shape the strategy’s implementation, helping to position the UK as a global leader in future mobility.”