Police in Wisbech seize two e-scooters for breaking 1835 law - but in Cambridge they’re legal providing you rent them
PUBLISHED: 10:37 30 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:59 31 August 2020
Police quoted an 1835 law to seize two e-scooters in Wisbech on Saturday night on the eve of a 12-month trial of them in Cambridge backed by Mayor James Palmer.
At 10pm last night police say they stopped two youths on Cromwell Road, using e-scooters.
“One was on the road and one was on the pavement,” police reported on their Facebook page.
“The rider on the road could not be seen and was in dark clothing and was at risk of being hit.
“Both e-scooters were seized.”
Police said there was nothing preventing anyone owning an e-scooter “but technically you can’t use it on pavements, cycle lines, or the road because of a law dating back to 1835!
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“Anyone who does is technically committing an offence and risks a £300 fine and six points on their driving licence (if they have one).”
The Facebook page added: “E-scooters are currently classified as personal light electric vehicle (PLEVs) so they are treated as motor vehicles and are subject to all the same legal requirements - MOT, tax, licensing, and specific construction.
“Because they do not have a visible rear light or a number plate, they can’t be used on the road. You would also technically need a driving licence to use one.”
However, in Cambridge both electric bikes and e-scooter will be available from September as part of a year-long trial.
A Swedish company has won the contract to run the trial that has been paid for by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. It will create 50 jobs.
Hundreds of e-scooters will be available across the city including at park and ride sites with key workers likely to be offered free rides.
And the combined authority is making use of a change in the law whereby rental e-scooters are allowed on British roads. E-scooters have been allowed on British roads since July 4, 2020. Legislation was rushed through Parliament to supply green alternatives to cars and buses in post-lockdown Britain.
Mayor James Palmer said: “Electric bikes and scooters have the potential to revolutionise travel.” They provide ‘quicker, healthier journeys” he said. Providing e-bikes and e-scooters will also help to prevent the spread of coronavirus by travelling while remaining socially distanced.
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