The government is reportedly set to remind retailers of the law regarding the use of electric scooters after a woman riding one was killed in a collision with a lorry in London on Friday – the first recorded fatality of someone using one in the UK.
Emily Hartridge, aged 35, who found fame via YouTube and went on to present a number of TV shows, was killed while riding her e-scooter at Queen’s Circus roundabout in Battersea, reports the Guardian.
In July last year, cyclist Shane Hammond was killed at the roundabout, which lies on the route of Cycle Superhighway 8, in a collision involving a bin lorry.
While e-scooters are an increasingly common sight in the capital, currently it is illegal to ride them on the road or the pavement, although the government said in May that it is considering whether the law should change.
The newspaper reports that transport minister Michael Ellis will today meet with representatives of Halfords and e-scooter hire companies Halfords and scooter share firms Lime, B Mobility and Bird to remind them that people buying or hiring e-scooters must be informed of the law beforehand.
He said: “Micromobility products are appearing in countries across the globe and are an exciting innovation for which we know there is demand.
“However, safety must always be our top priority when considering their use on public highways in this country.
“The government is considering this as part of its regulatory review, as announced in March in the [Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy [review].
“We are examining whether they can be used safely on the road – and if so, how that should be regulated to ensure the public’s safety. However, companies must understand that reviewing laws does not necessarily mean laws will change.
“People who use e-scooters need to be aware it is currently illegal to ride them on the pavement and the road,” he added.
The roundabout where Ms Hartridge was killed underwent a redesign in 2015 and became the first in the city to seek to physically separate cyclists from motor vehicles.
Wandsworth Council had billed it as being inspired by the Netherlands – although campaigners said that it failed to meet Dutch design standards and was “hugely complicated” for cyclists to negotiate.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.