Are e-scooters illegal? Warning over new £1,000 fines for anyone who owns one

E-scooters are set to be banned from public transport in London due to fears that they are a fire hazard. Here’s what you need to know about the ban on the two-wheelers

Person on an e-scooter
E-scooters will no longer be allowed on public transport under a new ban

Any passengers caught carrying e-scooters onto any Transport for London (TfL) networks can be handed £1,000 fines.

The ban against the two-wheelers comes after several reports of batteries catching fire.

In one incident, an electric scooter burst into fire at a TfL depot in Stanmore.

Last month, the batteries on an e-scooter exploded on a busy District line train at Parsons Green underground station, causing toxic fumes to spread with one passenger needing to be treated for smoke inhalation.

A safety review by TfL following these incidents found that the fires were caused by faulty third-party lithium batteries, which didn’t meet safety standards causing concerns about the potential of ‘significant harm’ and ‘secondary injuries.’

Where have e-scooters been banned from and can I drive one anywhere?

E-scooters have been found to be fire hazard by a TfL review


Getty Images/Westend61)

E-scooters have been banned from being carried onto all TfL networks including the Tube, trains and buses, and anyone who is spotted carrying one will be stopped from boarding and handed a hefty fine.

The ban also extends from the Tyne and Wear Metro and Shields Ferry as a safety precaution based on the TfL review. ScotRail, the national train operator in Scotland, is also considering imposing the ban.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) is also supporting the ban, especially after 50 fires involving e-scooters and E-bikes this year. LFB’s assistant commissioner for fire safety, Paul Jennings spoke about the danger of a fire on public transport, particularly trains “where evacuation may be challenging.”

He added: “We also have concerns around people trying to tackle these fires themselves, thinking the vapours given off are only steam, when they actually contain harmful and toxic gases.’”

Are e-scooters illegal now?

Anyone found carrying an e-scooter will face a £1000 fine


Dott UK/ScooTours)

Driving e-scooters is still allowed, but folding and carrying e-scooters on board TfL networks is illegal under the ban. This includes both privately-owned and rented e-scooters, neither of which can no longer be carried onto public transport.

However, mobility scooters and foldable bikes, which have been deemed to be less of a fire risk are still permitted on board. In London’s public places

It’s also illegal to use private e-scooters, with only TfL rented vehicles being allowed.

There has been a lot of criticism around the ban, with Matthew Lesh, head of research at think tank the Adam Smith Institute tweeting: “The e-scooter *carrying* ban removes an easy, safe, and environmentally-friendly transport option.”

But, TfL’s chief safety, health and environment officer, Lilli Matson stressed that the primary concern is “always for the safety of our customers and staff.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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