As the Deputy may be aware, electric scooters are a type of powered personal transporter (PPT). PPTs are classed as mechanically propelled vehicles, the use of which requires a valid licence, tax and appropriate insurance in accordance with Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1961. As PPTs do not fall under any existing vehicle category, it is not currently possible to tax and insure them and there is no separate licence category for them. Therefore they may not be used on public roads and in public places. However, their use is permitted on private land with the permission of the landowner.
I intend to legislate for e-scooters in accordance with the Programme for Government in 2021. This will involve identifying and developing appropriate amendments to primary legislation across a range of complex areas. The work must be carried out in such a way that it does not undermine the overall framework of Road Traffic Law or Road Safety in general. My officials have commenced work on drafting the necessary changes to primary legislation.
Experience overseas has shown that a change of regime may have consequences for road safety, the management of roads and footpaths, the movement of traffic, public transport and goods, public health and the environment. These are all factors which must be taken into consideration when legislating.
Until new legislation is in place, the use of electric scooters other than in the very limited circumstances outlined remains illegal.