Lord McColl of Dulwich has introduced a Private Members Bill in the House of Lords
The Electric Personal Vehicles (Use on Highways) Bill - which sets out to change the law so that 'self-balancing electric personal vehicles' can lawfully be used on footways (pavements) footpaths, bridleways, and restricted byways, without any driving licence of insurance requirements.
Lord McColl of Dulwich >>
The Byways and Bridleways Trust is very concerned because this Bill contains no power restriction on these vehicles, and no requirement that drivers should have to give way to walkers and horse riders, as pedal cyclists already must on public bridleways.
There will be no offence of careless driving or dangerous driving for inconsiderate or dangerous driving of these machines.
Modern motor and battery technology already makes possible the 'souping up' of electrically assisted pedal cycles (although such machine would not be lawful to use on the road without registration and many other requirements) so that they are capable of high speeds and able to traverse rough ground.
The Trust are all for improving rights of way, but like the forest sell-off, has this actually been thought through? As it stands it could open the door to the sort of anti social behaviour that was behind some of the draconian measures introduced under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act.
<< Caroline Spelman MP
The Trust calls on the Secretary of State for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs to intervene and ensure that this Bill
does not pass into law without proper consultation and extensive
safeguards for the existing, and vulnerable, users of footpaths,
footways, and bridleways.
Electric Personal Vehicles (EPVs): what are they?
Clockwise from top left: the Segway 'X2' electric scooter, the Toyota 'Winglet' scooter and 'i-Real' EPV for seated drivers, and (bottom left) the Yikebike, an electrically powered folding bike.
EPVs are relatively new forms of transport, usuallly built to carry a sole passenger.
EPVs are not the same as mobility scooters which are for use by people with physical disabilities.
EPVs are rare in Britain, which is not surprising as you can only legally use them on private land; even then you must have the landowner's permission.
In the UK, EPVs such as the electric scooters, folding bike and mobile chair shown here cannot legally be used, at present, on:
Do you think EPVs should be allowed on bridleways?