Private e-scooters are likely to be legalised for use on roads in Britain under new laws to be unveiled next month.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps indicated new regulation to MPs on the House of Commons’ Transport Committee.

Regulation needed

Currently there is no specific legislation for e-scooters. Despite their popularity, they are illegal to use in public outside of specific government trials. However, it is currently legal to buy and sell e-scooters in the UK.

Trial areas for e-scooters have been introduced across the country. These are rental schemes and involve safety features such as maximum speeds of 15.5mph, automatic lights and a recommendation to use helmets.

Many privately bought scooters are capable of much higher speeds, up to 50mph. They are currently illegally riden both on pavements and public roads, with most rider not wearing a helmet.

There are still believed to be about 750,000 private e-scooters in use across the UK.

The Queen speaks

Mr Shapps told MPs that legislation concerning e-scooters will be included in the Queen’s Speech on 10th May. This is when the Government unveils its legislative agenda.

‘In the future I want to crack down on the illegal use on roads of non-compliant e-scooters,’ says Mr Shapps

Currently there is no specific legislation for e-scooters.

Conservative committee member Simon Jupp revealed there have been ‘900 collisions, 11 of which were fatal’.

Concern was expressed about the figures, the road safety dangers and the current lack of government and police control.

Mr Shapps says there will be new powers “to properly regulate” them.

He adds: “They’re a reality, they exist. If these things exist they need to be made safe, and I think the trials have been useful in gathering data and there’s more data still to gather.”

The wild west

Labour committee member, Ben Bradshaw, describes e-scooters as ‘convenient, cheap and environmentally friendly form of transport’. He is calling Mr Shapps and the DfT to ‘get a move on and properly license these things’.

Responding , Mr Shapps says: “I believe we need to crack down on the poor standards and the inability to control them, sometimes when they end up being used in the wrong way or dangerously, and enable use where it’s appropriate and responsible,’ he added.

AA president Edmund King describes the current dangers of failing to regulate to allow “some of our cities to be over-run like the Wild West with illegal scooters.

“Micro-mobility and e-technology can have a positive effect on movement in our cities but we must ensure that movement is safe.”

Calling time

Ministers are also being urged ban on cyclists and the users of e-bikes and e-scooters from using mobile phones.

Conservative peer Baroness McIntosh of Pickering questioned why recent updates to the Highway Code did not include this.

She is calling on the government to update the law with a specific offence that could see cyclists, e-bike and e-scooter users prosecuted for using their devices while riding.