What legislative changes will be required to permit the use of e-scooters in Wales?
The Welsh Government has engaged with stakeholders including the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and e-scooter companies to understand their views and concerns.
Officials are liaising with the Department for Transport (DfT) in respect of proposals to permit and regulate the use of e-scooters. The majority of the powers to regulate the use of e-scooters are vested in the Secretary of State, rather than the Welsh Ministers, and the regulation of the construction and use of e-scooters in Wales is currently a reserved matter and therefore a matter on which the UK Parliament, rather than the Senedd, can legislate.
Engagement has taken place at official level relating to understanding the opportunity for local authorities in Wales to participate in the DfT e-scooter trials. A DfT official has previously attended a round table discussion with myself and stakeholders on the potential introduction of e-scooters in Wales.
In order to permit e-scooters to be used in trials in Wales it would be necessary to amend the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 (“TSRGD 2016”). Other relevant regulations, the Motor Cycles (Protective Helmets) Regulations 1998, the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1999 and the Roads Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002, were amended to permit e-scooters to be used in trials in Great Britain by virtue of the Electric Scooter Trials and Traffic Signs (Coronavirus) Regulations and General Directions 2020, but the amendments to the TSRGD 2016 made by that instrument only extended to England. It is for the Welsh Ministers to amend the TSRGD 2016, as it applies to Wales, if e-scooter trials are to be permitted in Wales.
In terms of permitting the use of e-scooters in Wales more broadly, not just as part of a trial, it will be necessary to consider what further legislative changes may be required. This will be dependent on the specific detail of any policy proposals developed in this regard.