Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes hopes to be 'testbed' for public e-scooters

E-scooter
Image caption Electric scooters are banned from public roads and pavements in the UK

Milton Keynes Council hopes a change in law could see the town become a test area for public electric scooters.

Similar schemes are in place in cities such as Paris, Madrid and Lisbon, but electric scooters are banned from public roads and pavements in the UK.

The council has been in discussion with the Department for Transport about being a "testbed" for "e-scooters".

A spokesman for the council said it wanted to provide a "safe, modern and efficient" transport system.

In the UK, it is only legal to ride electric scooters on private land with the permission of the landowner.

Anyone riding elsewhere could face a £300 fixed-penalty notice and six points on their driving licence for using e-scooters.

In July, TV presenter and YouTuber Emily Hartridge was killed when the electric scooter she was riding was involved in a crash with a lorry.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Scooter-sharing schemes are available in more than 100 cities around the world

A council report into "smart, shared sustainable mobility" said: "Milton Keynes Council and Department for Transport are exploring the possibility of Milton Keynes becoming a micromobility testbed for electric scooters.

"This will require a change in regulations on the public use of electric scooters and this is currently being investigated."

A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said: "Safety is at the heart of our roads laws, and people who use e-scooters need to be aware it is currently illegal to ride them on the road and the pavement.

"The government is considering the use of e-scooters and e-skateboards as part of a regulatory review, as announced in March.

"We are actively examining how they can be regulated for safe use on the road, in order to encourage innovative new forms of transport."

A spokesman for Milton Keynes Council said: "As a growing city, we're committed to bringing new and innovative transport solutions to Milton Keynes.

"We want to set the standard of how to provide a safe modern, efficient and well run transport system based on new technologies that meet demand."

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