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Ministers reject the “swift legalisation” of E-scooters, after RNIB’s representations

The Government has said it will not rush into legalisation of E-scooters in the UK, in its recently published response to the Transport Select Committee's report on E-scooters

Ministers were responding the Transport Select Committee’s report on E-scooters, which was overwhelmingly positive about the legalisation of E-scooters. The Government’s response was firm in its stance that it would not push forward legalisation without proper understanding – “both positive and negative” to legalise E-scooters. The response clearly stated that “only then will the Government make any decisions about legislating for the long term and the regulatory underpinning to ensure E-scooters are used as safely and efficiently as possible.”

RNIB welcomes the Government’s reluctance to rush into legalisation without full evaluation of the current rental trials and is pleased to see it pick up on our calls for the experiences of blind and partially sighted people to be fully considered: “The trials are being constructed to allow for views and insights from a broad range of stakeholders to be heard, including users and non-users of E-scooters (including people who are blind or visually impaired).”

RNIB ran a survey to collect these experiences and we will give feedback to the companies responsible for evaluations of rental E-scooter trials. We want to ensure they assess the impact on blind and partially sighted people as effectively as possible.

The Government was also cautious in response to the report’s claim that “It is unfortunate that, due to a legal technicality, users of rental E-scooters in the Government’s trials are required to have a driving licence” and its call for Driving Licenses not to be a requirement. The Government cited a “lack of reliable evidence, globally, on the safety of E-scooters and “much still to learn about the factors which can positively influence the safety of both E-scooter users and non-users alike.” The Government again emphasised the need to “consider all the evidence from trials before making any specific decisions”.

RNIB is pleased the Government is committed to fully reviewing all evidence relating to the roll-out of E-scooters before rushing into legalisation. We will continue to work with the Department for Transport to ensure that blind and partially sighted people’s insights are properly considered.