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While it is legal to buy or sell an e-Scooter (classed as a battery-powered personal transport device), riding them on public roads, pavements or cycle lanes is against the law. Riders could face a £300 fine and six points on their licence if they use them on public roads or pavements. Riding e-scooters on private land is legal with the landowner’s permission.

The Electric Scooter Trials and Traffic Signs (Coronavirus) Regulations and General Directions 2020 (SI 2020/663) provide the legislative basis for the e-scooter trials. They define ‘e-Scooters’ and amend road traffic regulations to exempt e-Scooters being used in a trial from certain requirements of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Even in local authority areas which decide to run trials, it will still be illegal to ride a privately owned (non-trial) e-Scooter on public roads, pavements or cycle lanes.

Views differ on the potential benefits and problems presented by e-scooters. Some believe that they offer solutions to a wide range of transport policy goals (such as reducing pollution, congestion), while others believe that they are potentially dangerous and may undermine messaging about active travel and green transport.

Buying an e-Scooter can be tempting, especially as you can get them from many popular retailers. You can buy one, but you cannot ride it on a UK public road, cycle lane or pavement. The only place an e-Scooter can be used is on private land. If you are caught on an e-Scooter, the Police may advise you of the current law about how to use an e-Scooter legally and ask you to take your e-Scooter home. They may however still penalise you depending on the nature and gravity of the offence.

Advice on e-Scooter usage (Police UK)


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