Rise in complaints over illegal use of e-scooters in North Somerset

Voi E-scooters have been introduced in a trial in Cambridge.

Police say they are taking action against the use of illegal e-scooters in Wisbech. - Credit: PA

E-scooter owners are being warned to ride them responsibly or risk a £1,000 fine.

The use of e-scooters is becoming increasingly popular in North Somerset, but this has also led to a rise in complaints about illegal use.

It is legal to own an e-scooter but they can only be used on private land with the landowner's permission. It is illegal to ride on roads, cycle lanes and pavements.

Anyone caught riding a privately owned e-scooter on public land could face a £1,000 fine, six points on their driving licence and may have their scooter confiscated by the police.

North Somerset Council is calling on the local community to be aware of the rules and risks of e-scooters, and to use them responsibly.

Cllr Mike Solomon, the authority's executive member for neighbourhoods and community services said: "While they're great fun for the people riding them, e-scooters are causing concern for other road and pavement users.

"Some owners might not be aware that they can't be used in public places, so we're keen to raise awareness and encourage more responsible e-scooting. Otherwise there will be an accident and it could involve a small child or older person and no-one wants that on their conscience."

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Avon and Somerset Police have been issuing advice to e-scooter users during patrols.

Simon Brickwood, Superintendent for road safety at Avon and Somerset Police said: “We’re keen for riders to be aware that e-scooters are classified as motor vehicles for the purposes of law.

"As such, if they are used on a road, pavement or any public place, they are subject to the same road traffic legislation as any motor vehicle – i.e. you must have a driving licence and insurance. 

“However, at the current time, it isn’t possible to get motor insurance to ride a private e-scooter, so ultimately they aren’t lawful for use anywhere other than on private land.

“Our neighbourhood teams are actively engaging with e-scooter users as part of our regular patrols, giving advice and taking positive action where appropriate.

"While a warning may be given in the first instance, officers have the power to take enforcement action which may include seizing the scooter or issuing penalty points.”