In a recent exchange in the House of Commons, Kerry McCarthy, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Net Zero, engaged with Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman, Minister of State for the Department for Transport, on the matter of e-scooter trials conducted in 2020. McCarthy inquired about the insights gleaned from the trials and queried if the Secretary of State for Transport was prepared to introduce e-scooter legislation by 31 May 2024.
Responding to the query, Norman disclosed that the rental e-scooter trials were rolled out across England in July 2020. The Department for Transport undertook an independent assessment of these trials, which reviewed data up until December 2021. The evaluation's objective was to understand the utilisation patterns of rental e-scooters, their safety, the shift in mode of transport, environmental impacts, and wider social effects.
On 15 December 2022, the Department revealed the findings from the nationwide evaluation of the e-scooter rental trials in England. Norman highlighted that these insights have already informed adjustments in the guidance and regulation of the e-scooter trials and will persistently be used for policy development.
Norman elaborated on two significant updates informed by the trials: the introduction of compulsory unique identification numbers for all rental e-scooters, enabling the public to distinguish between trial and non-trial e-scooters; and heightened guidance for operators to supply helmets and promote their use.
The Minister concluded by announcing the Government's intent to present legislation for both private and rental e-scooter usage, given sufficient parliamentary time, and assured that consultations on the corresponding regulations would occur in due course. This robust discussion illuminates the dynamic relationship between technological innovation and policy-making in the sphere of transportation.