Over in the US the latest hip trend is to launch a scooter-sharing service, like the bike sharing services but with the option of leaving an electric scooter at the bottom of a canal. Those companies are planning on expanding, but you shouldn't expect them to be coming to the UK anytime soon.
Earlier this week LimeBike, one of the more popular scooter-sharing services, announced it would be launching in Paris. But it confirmed that it won't be coming to the UK. Why? Because electric scooters are basically illegal. This has also been confirmed by Transport for London, who said current regulations block electric scooters from being used in public.
The regulations in question are the same ones that block people from using segways or those irritating not-hovering hoverboards. According to the law anything with a motor is classified as a moped and can't be used on the pavement, but they can't go on the road unless they have a number plate and the driver has the appropriate valid licence. Any offenders will end up being slapped with a £75 fine.
Until the laws change those scooter companies can't operate the services in the UK, though Lime says it has plans to launch a bikesharing service here until the rules change.
Will the rules change? Who knows. Maybe if such companies kick up a huge fuss about it, but I personally hope that they don't. Having an electric scooter on the road is dangerous and stupid, while nobody wants to have to share space with some hipster weaving through pedestrians without paying attention to what they's doing. Honestly the adults who ride around on manual scooters are bad enough, and we don't need them getting an electric-powered speed boost. [The Telegraph]