E-scooters will be allowed on Britain’s roads for first time from Saturday despite deaths including TV presenter Emily Hartridge
- Regulations enabling the trials of rental e-scooters will come into force Saturday
- The trials will assess the impact of the e-scooters on traffic and safety for users
- Only rental e-scooters will be allowed on roads, and will be limited to 15.5mph
- Comes despite deaths of some users, including YouTube star Emily Hartridge
E-scooters will be allowed on Britain’s roads for the first time from Saturday, the Department for Transport has announced.
New regulations enabling trials of rental e-scooters will come into force on Saturday.
The first schemes are expected to be launched next week, transport minister Rachel Maclean said.
The trials are being held for 12 months to assess whether the devices reduce traffic and what impact they have on the safety of users and those around them.
Riders who participate in the pilots will need a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence, must be aged at least 16 and will be urged to wear a helmet.
Only rental e-scooters will be allowed on roads, and they will be limited to 15.5mph.
The decision comes despite deaths of people using the scooters, including YouTube star Emily Hartridge who was en route to a fertility clinic scan last July when she was killed in a crash on an e-scooter.
YouTube star Emily Hartridge was en route to a fertility clinic scan last July when she was killed in a crash on her e-scooter
The social media star’s tragic death is thought to be the first involving an e-scooter, but her mourning partner does not believe the vehicles should be banned
Ms Maclean said: ‘As we emerge from lockdown, we have a unique opportunity in transport to build back in a greener, more sustainable way, which could lead to cleaner air and healthier communities across Great Britain.
‘E-scooters may offer the potential for convenient, clean and cost-effective travel that may also help ease the burden on the transport network, provide another green alternative to get around and allow for social distancing.
‘The trials will allow us to test whether they do these things.’
E-scooters are currently banned in the UK on public roads and pavements, but this does not stop many people using them.
The Metropolitan Police caught nearly 100 riders in London in a single week last summer.
YouTube star and TV presenter Ms Hartridge became the first person in the UK to be killed while riding an e-scooter when she was struck by a lorry in Battersea, south London, in July last year.
She was struck by a lorry in Battersea, south London, in July last year. Pictured is a helmet lying at the scene
Mr Hazell has said that he and the 35-year-old – who he described as the ‘most beautiful woman in the world’ – were hooked with excitement as they planned for a baby and that she was on her way to a fertility clinic when she was killed
The grieving boyfriend of Ms Hartridge later revealed his partner was en route to a fertility clinic scan when she was killed in a crash on the e-scooter he had given her as a birthday present.
Jacob Hazell said he and the 35-year-old presenter – who he described as the ‘most beautiful woman in the world’ – were overcome with excitement as they planned for a baby.
The 28-year-old said everything in their lives was ‘going right’.
But in a heart wrenching interview, he recalled his creeping sense of dread when the clinic said Ms Hartridge had failed to turn up to the appointment.
And he revealed his anxiety then turned into devastation after stumbling across the news that his girlfriend had died in a collision with a lorry in Battersea on Friday 12 July.
Emily with her boyfriend Jacob Hazell. She wrote about him in May saying: ‘Jake is incredible and I feel beyond grateful to have him in my life’
Alan Clarke, director of UK policy and government affairs at US scooter rental firm Lime, said: ‘Today’s announcement that the UK is embracing micromobility, with trials of e-scooters now able to begin, presents a real opportunity for change.
‘E-scooters have been commonplace on roads and in cities across Europe for some time and Lime users around the world have already taken more than 150 million rides, saving more than 12,000 tonnes of CO2, whilst helping to reduce congestion and air pollution.
‘Over the coming days, weeks and months as trials start, we’re looking forward to building healthier, greener and safer cities across the UK.’