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UK government urged to secure future of e-scooter industry

Voi is calling on the UK government to establish clear legislation for the e-scooter industry, detailing the need for set governance structures, data driven decision making and clear goals at the local level.

Voi Technology has announced that it is calling on the UK government to set a clear date for legislation to secure the future of the e-scooter industry, which is revolutionising transport across the UK – or risk losing jobs and investment.

Currently, shared e-scooter schemes are run as trials set up by the government to provide a new form of sustainable, easy to use and affordable transport to help local authorities reach their net zero targets.

Two-and-a-half years after setting up its first scheme, Voi has seen nearly 1.2 million people take 21.5 million rides, replacing over eight million car journeys and generating more than £50 million across local economies in the cities Voi operates in the UK, in 2022 alone.

However, Matthew Pencharz, Head of Public Policy for Voi UK, Ireland and Netherlands, warns that any gains that have been made by the micro-mobility industry could be put at risk if the government is unable to give greater clarity about when legislation will be brought forward.

Matthew Pencharz said: “Almost three years after the trials were first started, the demand for e-scooters is proven with Voi alone having 21 million rides, replacing over eight million car journeys. However, the industry doesn’t have certainty after May next year (2024) when the trials are currently due to end. Legislation will allow more cities and towns to use e-scooters as a sustainable method of transport for their communities, providing a firmer footing for the industry and the jobs and investment connected with it.”

Voi has stated that the government should follow through with its commitment to create a new, light zero-emission vehicle category for e-scooters, which are currently subject to the same regulation as motor vehicles, making the UK one of the only countries in Europe which subjects e-scooters to the same levels of regulation as cars.

According to Voi, a new vehicle category should eliminate the need for all riders to have either provisional or full driving licences, opening up micro-mobility to more riders. In addition, the insurance required should be brought in line with e-bike regulation, as it would enable insurance companies to create policies better suited to e-scooters. Currently, operators must provide Motor Third Party Liability insurance, as for all motor vehicles.

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