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‘Complex piece of work’ to make use of e-scooters legal

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A REVIEW could soon be held into the use of e-scooters in Guernsey.

E-scooters and other personal light electric vehicles, are popular in some European countries, with Guernsey set to follow the UK and look at ways of making their use legal. (27153147)

The battery-powered vehicles, which usually have a top speed of up to 20mph, have enjoyed growing popularity across Europe, which has left many countries racing to catch up when it comes to legislation.

In Guernsey, it is illegal to use any personal light electric vehicle (PLEV), which includes e-scooters and electric skate boards, on the public highway. But that could change.

‘The Environment & Infrastructure committee believes there would be benefit in clarifying the position moving forward,’ the States said in the integrated transport strategy.

‘At present, only an e-cycle is exempted from the requirement to be registered and these are subject to certain qualifying criteria.

‘There is no straightforward way to extend this exemption to other PLEVs, making this, perhaps surprisingly, a complex piece of work, but it is a necessary one given the increasing popularity of these vehicles.’

It is estimated there are up to 20,000 e-scooters in Paris, and in other European countries, such as Germany, they have become a common sight in cities, where they can be hired for a short period using an app.

Costs vary, but in Paris it costs about £5 for half an hour.

In the UK, a consultation is set to be launched shortly to look at how to regulate the vehicles. However, exact details have not been released yet.

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‘Environment & Infrastructure will also be carrying out investigations into personal light electric vehicles, including e-scooters,’ a States spokesman said.

In the integrated transport strategy it was noted that the personal light electric vehicles have various benefits and disadvantages, but these were not listed.

In other countries rules include restrictions to ensure only people over 14 can use an e-scooter and they can be used only on the street or cycle paths, not on pavements. No helmet is required.

One of the problems in Europe has been that people leave their e-scooters on the pavement when their rental ends, a potential hazard.

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Another issue has been e-scooters being dumped in rivers and canals.

E-scooters start from around £100 each, but the cost can run into several thousand pounds. More expensive scooters can have a range of up to 80 miles.

While the vehicles are not legal in the UK, they are often used in busy centres such as London.

The first UK e-scooter fatality was last summer, when a woman in London who was riding one of the scooters collided with a lorry.

In America in 2018 there were more than 85,000 electric scooters for rent in about 100 cities and it was estimated there were 14,651 e-scooter related injuries that year.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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