‘Overwhelming’ support for legalising private e-scooters

With rental e-scooters soon to come to the Black Country, retail chain Halfords has revealed that there is overwhelming public support for privately owned e-scooters to become legal.

A stock image of a man on an electric scooter
A stock image of a man on an electric scooter

Its survey found 55 per cent of people in the West Midlands are now eager to use them for commuting short distances to work.

Also 51 per cent in the region think e-scooters are good for the environment, while 50 per cent are confident that legalising e-scooters could ease congestion.

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The Redditch-headquartered retailer believes that the Government should consider following the model used for e-bikes.

Halfords chief executive Graham Stapleton said: “This could help to quickly draw up regulations that govern appropriate safety standards and legalise universal use on that basis.

"We’ve already overcome similar challenges with e-bikes and these now account for 14 per cent of all adult bikes sold so adopting a similar model makes sense.

“We’ve found that many customers are already using electric bikes to get to work and re-engage with cycling safely. Currently you can legally drive your car or ride your bike – or even saddle up on a horse – on the highway. So why not personal e-scooters?

Electric scooters could replace short car journeys (Image: Kris Krug)

“There is overwhelming public support for these trials. Our research found that 59 per cen of those in the West Midlands supported Greater Manchester’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner Chris Boardman’s call for an e-scooters trial in Manchester, to see what framework of usage works best.

“There is undeniable consumer demand for e-scooters, and many people want the UK laws to catch up with the rest of the world and want to exercise the same rights and freedoms that road users enjoy in most European countries, as well as places such as Queensland in Australia and in New Zealand.

“Any new regulations should deliver safer roads, and ensure that road users behave responsibly and with due care and attention, but the current blanket ban on all e-scooters does not offer this: it limits our ability to travel and, for short journeys in particular, leaves us with no alternative but to use public transport.

“Bought from a responsible retailer that only sells e-scooters with a restriction on maximum speed, the safety factor of e-scooters could be increased further with education and simple accessories like helmets, lights and reflective strips, if e-scooters were regulated and licensed.”

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