Mobility > E-scooters Take Off in COVID-Hit London Despite Legal Obstacles

Thousands of London commuters have ditched the city’s underground trains and buses during the COVID-19 pandemic for a more personal form of electric transportation: an e-scooter.

 Costing from 300 pounds ($400) and with a typical top speed of around 25 kilometers an hour (15 mph), e-scooters have become a familiar sight on the city’s streets and cycle lanes, Reuters reported.

But unless the e-scooter is rented and is involved in a trial, it is illegal to ride on a public road.

Erica Klose, a worker in the City of London, said coronavirus concerns and a desire to become greener had made her an e-scooter convert.

“Everything’s getting electric nowadays, so why not join the bandwagon like everybody else and become eco-friendly as well,” she said.

“It does get pretty crowded in the Tube (London underground) when you head to work in the morning, and I would like to steer clear of that for a while until I feel more comfortable.”

Klose said she would be happy to be registered as a rider and to pay for insurance. “I think that is the way forward as if it’s a motor vehicle,” she said.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps in May brought forward trials of rental e-scooters. They are set to start in London next spring, Transport for London has said.

Around 30 trials are currently underway in other regions, and the results will helping inform a decision on whether and how e-scooters might be legalized, the government has said.

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