UK DfT to create new vehicle category for e-scooters

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The UK government is set to create a low-speed, zero-emission vehicle category which is “is independent from the cycle and motorcycle categories”.

Speaking in the House of Lords, Baroness Vere of Norbiton, parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Transport (DfT), said: “Safety is at the heart of our plans to create a regulatory framework for smaller, lighter, zero-emission vehicles, sometimes known as e-scooters.

“Their popularity is clear and new rules are needed to improve safety and crack down on illegal use whilst unlocking innovation and growth in this emerging multi-billion-pound industry.

“New powers would allow the government to decide the vehicles that fall into this new category in the future and how they should be regulated to make sure that they are safe to use. We hope that e-scooters will be the first of these vehicles.”

The move had been suggested by transport secretary Grant Shapps in April. Speaking to the Commons transport select committee he had promised to “take powers to properly regulate and then be able to decide the usage of [e-scooters]”.

This new legislation, which forms part of a new Transport Bill, was due to be announced as part of the Queen’s Speech. It has been welcomed by micromobility operator Voi.

Jack Samler, general manager at Voi UK and Ireland, said: “Shared e-scooter schemes, such as Voi’s, have successfully demonstrated that they can be safely integrated with other forms of public transport, bicycles and walking to give people carbon-free transport options.”

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