Sunday, May 26News For London

Londoners say: ‘Legalising e-scooters is a wonderful thing because climate change is rampant. We need to take care of the environment’

A recently published study claims that the legalisation of e-scooters will decrease carbon emissions.

Rental E-scooters near Oxford Street. Credit: Sharv G

Although private e-scooters are banned on public roads, Westminster World found many riders on the road risking their safety for convenience.

“When I was buying my e-scooter, I was unaware of the rules. But now I know the rules. However, I am taking the risk of riding it in public places,” a private e-scooter rider, on condition of anonymity, said.

However, according to a study recently published by Move Electric, an e-mobility website, more than one in five drivers in the UK, who participated in a poll, said that they would consider e-scooters instead of cars for short journeys once it is legalised in the UK.

The study, accessed by Westminster World, also showed that “legalising e-scooters could help save more than 44000 tons of CO2 a year in the UK- equivalent to the annual emissions from 29000 cars.”

Many Londoners whom Westminster World spoke to opined that they would prefer e-scooters if it is legalised.

“E-scooters should be legalised. But they should also be regulated,” Alverado, a Londoner, told Westminster World.

“Legalising e-scooters is a wonderful thing because climate change is rampant now. We need to take care of the environment. E-scooters will reduce congestion on the road as well.”  Sakib, a master’s student at LSE, said.

“We must legalise e-scooters. Because we already have legalised the rental ones” said Dan, a Londoner.

“The results of the study also discovered that 42 percent of all respondents surveyed believe e-scooters are a viable solution in helping cities and urban areas reduce air pollution,” James Attwood, Editor Move Electric told Westminster World.

Research from Move Electric explains that: “The calculation is based on the fact that more than one in five drivers (22%) of 5078 surveyed said they would consider replacing short car journeys with an e-scooter. While 45% of drivers surveyed were in favor of legalising e-scooters, 79% of those supporting their legalization would like to see them taxed and insured before riders can operate them.”

To restrict e-scooters, strict policing is also in place in London. But it also leads to racial profiling. According to the data obtained through a series of Freedom of Information requests by Possible, a London-based charity organization, riders of color are prosecuted twice as much in comparison with white citizens.

Richard, a citizen of London says: “It is time to legalize e-scooters to avoid the prosecution of more Black Londoners. It is exacerbating the plight of Black Londoners. Black people are on the target. They are being targeted no matter what they do.”

Jai Jade, a 29-year-old working in Formula E, which is the electric bifurcation of Formula 1 racing, says: “It is probably a little bit dangerous. But I understand that it is more sustainable and more economically viable.”

“At least the authority should make it legal to ride e-scooter at least in the pocket roads,” a rider, on condition of anonymity, added.

Although most of the Londoners favor the legalisation of e-scooters, 50 percent of the respondents who took part in an online survey, conducted by Westminster World have rejected the idea of legalising e-scooters.

Infographic on accidents of e-scooters with the survey result (Image: Sarlota)

Apart from members of the public and experts, the transport committee of MPs also demanded the legalisation of e-scooters on public roads, though not on pavements. The London Cycle Campaign has also supported the demand.

Video Feature on Londoners’ opinion about e-scooter legalisation