E-scooters reach the UK

George Boatfield discusses the increased usage of E-scooters in UK cities, and the effects thereof.

George Boatfield
20th October 2020

I have had a lingering awareness of the slow and steady rise in use of electric transportation over the years. But now, it’s as if I’ve suddenly begun to notice their usage around Newcastle all the more. With rapidly dropping public transport numbers as passengers understandably look to commute via other means, their silent takeover is almost complete. Well, it’s more of a high-pitched, quiet whine, but you know what I mean.

Scooters are the latest poster child of electrically-updated person-propelled transport, though legislation stands in their way - at least in England. While UK cities have been able to apply to trial battery-powered scooters for limited use on roads, cycle lanes and tracks since 4 July, it’s still illegal to use privately owned, non-hired electric scooters.

As electric vehicle technology improves and battery range increases, UK's infrastructure and legislation must be there to support it

There’s no doubt that our European neighbours have trailblazed when it comes to both usage of scooters themselves and the regulation that forms the basis of how they are adopted by users. While their day-to-day convenience is clearly a selling point, it is their function as a leisure-based activity that really drives current adoption. Lisbon and Paris are shining examples, where tourists form the bulk of the users for hired scooters in the cities.

A drive to sustainable commuting and sightseeing is clearly achievable then, but as technology improves and battery range increases, the infrastructure and legislation in the UK must be there too. Then, perhaps those travelling around the UK can explore their favourite destinations just as the residents of Amsterdam can live a car-lite existence in their pedestrianised city.

Feature Image: Pxfuel.com

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