Roads Minister Trudy Harrison MP recently this week replied to several parliamentary questions on future government policy on e-scooters and what any new legal regime might look like. Although her replies give little away, they at least show the issue is being actively considered within government. For example, on 23 February she explained that “We are considering further options for how best to regulate e-scooters and crack down on their illegal use. New measures being considered will be designed to create a much clearer, fit for purpose and fully enforceable regime for e-scooters and other micromobility vehicles.” Yesterday she added that “The Department is now considering options for a new regulatory framework for e-scooters. This includes working with industry to consider whether to require insurance and, if so, what kind.”
The Minister also reminded MPs that late last year the e-scooter rental trial schemes “were further extended to 30 November 2022 [to] allow us to continue to fill data gaps and allow us to collect more evidence.” This would appear to suggest that the timing of the outputs of DfT’s policy development on e-scooters is not entirely clear. We expect the department will publish further analysis of data and insights from the trials in the next few months, with Ms Harrison noting that “A full set of findings on rental e-scooters from our national evaluation, will be included in our final report due later in 2022.” But at this stage we simply don’t know if that final report will set out the detail of, in her words, a “fit for purpose and fully enforceable regime for e-scooters” or whether that will have to wait until the extended trials come to an end in November.
Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy & Government Affairs