Marketed as good for the environment and a safe way to travel in post pandemic England, the e-scooter has suddenly become a common sight in most areas of the country. However, currently only the e-scooters involved in the government trials are legal to ride on English roads. Each city which has opted for a trial works with a rental company, which supplies the scooters. The data that is collected is then fed back to the government, to help decision-making surrounding legislation when the trials end.
E-scooters provided within trial areas have maximum speed limits of 15.5mph, or 8mph in some specifically designated 'go-slow' areas in London. With trial areas they are geofenced so they will stop working if taken outside of the area, or if they enter "go slow areas" their speed will be reduced. The maximum speed limit is 15.5mph although this has been reduced to 12.5mph for the London trials, which started in London on 7 June 2021.
As the trials have progressed across the country many of the providers have reduced the top speeds down to 12.5mph, with Bournemouth reducing the speed on its promenade to 3mph between 10am - 6pm for the duration of the summer.
Anyone wishing to hire an e-scooter in the trial must be over 16 and have at least a provisional driving license with category Q entitlement. Helmet wearing is recommended but not a requirement, although some providers are offering reduced ride costs if proof of wearing a helmet is uploaded to their app. In some European cities insurers have tied in with scooter providers to provide free helmets if safety courses are undertaken.