Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils (the local government association for Greater London) recently announced that they are extending the UK’s largest e-scooter rental trial in the capital for at least another year, in response to recently updated Department for Transport (DfT) guidance that allows local authority trials to continue until at least May 31, 2024. The extension also follows the UK government’s announcement of plans for forthcoming legislation to create a new ‘low-speed, zero-emission’ vehicle category, which would include e-scooters and seek to fully integrate them into the urban transport landscape.
London’s e-scooter rental trial was launched in June 2021 and has since grown rapidly, with a reported 4,425 e-scooters now available to hire across the city and almost two million journeys taken thus far. The main aim of all the e-scooter trials currently operating across the country is to use the accumulated data to learn more about e-scooters, and thereby shape future policy regarding their use on UK roads and in other public areas, particularly in terms of providing an affordable, green and sustainable urban transport alternative.
In this context, TfL stated that high safety requirements and operating standards will be further enhanced for the next phase of the capital’s e-scooter trial. They will be based on the experience to date, both in London and other cities and countries, as well as customer and stakeholder feedback and improvements in e-scooter technology.
Public safety is clearly the central priority, and riders will require public liability insurance if and when privately-owned e-scooters become legal to use on public land, including public roads. Currently, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users have little chance of legal redress if they are involved in an accident with a private e-scooter, although rental e-scooters are covered by insurance taken out by the operator.
Find out more about responsibility for e-scooter accidents and claiming compensation for being injured by an e-scooter rider: