Although the use of micromobility devices (Rideables) in public spaces is currently not legal in the UK, we have set out below our recommendations for their use once they are legal. We have based this on guidance used by other countries who have legalised Rideables.
Rideables.org is committed to promoting clean urban transportation in the UK. It is recognised that changing travel patterns and emerging new technologies offer environmental benefits and reduce traffic congestion. However, as with all transportation, micromobility devices need to be used in a safe and responsible way.
Rideables.org would recommend that devices meet certain specifications to be legal for use in public spaces. These focus on characteristics such as dimensions, mass and speed, as well as ensuring devices have appropriate braking mechanisms and no sharp protrusions. Also included is a range of conditions which place obligations on users to act in a safe and respectful manner, particularly when interacting with pedestrians.
In summary the new policy recommendations provide the following:
- Micromobility devices include, but are not limited to electric scooters, electric unicycles and electric skateboards. We would recommend that Rideables meet the following requirements:
- Be designed to carry one person.
- Have one or more wheels.
- Be propelled by an electric motor.
- Have a maximum unladen weight of 50kg.
- Have an effective stopping system controlled by using brakes, gears and/or motor control.
- Have no sharp protrusions.
- Rideables should only be ridden where bicycles are legally allowed and must not be ridden on the pavement.
- Local councils have the power to prohibit the use of these devices in areas such as malls and shopping centres. A user travelling on a public highway must give way to pedestrians, travel at a safe speed appropriate to the conditions and be able to stop safely.
- Rideables should be provided access to the road network for use on local roads. However, riders must not ride on roads where cycling is prohibited.
- The maximum speed limit a user may travel on the road is 15.5mph (25km/h), which is the same as an electric bicycle.
- Given the range of Rideables that could fall within the legislation, warning devices such as bells are recommended.
- A Rideable must not be towed by a vehicle, and a user must not hold onto a vehicle while the vehicle is moving.
- To help ensure that Rideables are used safely and responsibly, riders should follow the below guidelines:
- Should keep to the left on the road.
- Never ride more than two abreast, ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding around bends.
- Not ride close behind another vehicle.
- Should not carry anything which will affect your balance or may get tangled up in your wheel(s).
- Must not have more than one rider on the device.
- At night your device must have a white front and red rear light.
- Riders must wear a helmet at all times when riding a device.
- Riders must not ride when under the influence of drink or drugs including medicine.
- Riders must not ride in a dangerous, careless, or inconsiderate manner.
- Riders must be 16 years of age and above.
- Riders must obey all traffic signs and traffic signals.
- Riders must have valid third party insurance (as a minimum) when available.
The Department of Transport is responsible for the administration of the proposed rules regarding Rideables. However, local councils may also have additional regulatory requirements. Companies who wish to set up hire services that utilise devices that meet the new definition of a Rideable, should contact the local council before commencing deployment.