‘Private e-scooters a huge hit in Bristol - now let’s legalise them’ - says boss of retailer Pure Electric
Pure Electric chief executive Adam Norris says e-scooters could will help the city achieve zero-emission transport
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The owner of Bristol-based Pure Electric says demand for e-scooters in the city is higher than anywhere else in the UK outside London, as the company smashes a £1m crowdfunding campaign to expand growth into Europe.
Despite it being illegal to ride e-scooters other than on private land, the company says it has ambitions to cut congestion and help clean up pollution with its range of two-wheeled products which can be bought for under £350.
The firm has also received strong investor support, having secured almost £1.5m in funding after launching its first-ever crowdfunding campaign aimed at supporting growth beyond the UK, France, Spain and Belgium.
Asked by Bristol World on how much of a success his e-scooters had been in Bristol, chief executvie and founder Adam Norris said: “Pure Electric e-scooters have been a huge hit in our home city of Bristol. In fact, the demand for our e-scooters is higher in Bristol than in any other city in the UK outside of London.”
And asked how e-scooters benefit the city, he said: “Bristol is a city passionate about sustainable living, which is why we love to call it our home. We’ve seen rental scheme e-scooters in Bristol become very popular, which is an important first step in encouraging people to swap cars for micro-mobility solutions.
“Looking to the future, with the Clean Air Zone coming into force in late November, even more people in Bristol will be looking for zero-emission transport. This reinforces why the UK government needs to implement regulations around the use of private e-scooters, urgently.”
Under current law, only rented e-scooters from Voi can be ridden on public roads. Private e-scooters cannot be ridden on roads, pavements or cycle lanes.
It is because they are classed as a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1998, and the fact riders can’t get appropriate insurance for privately-owned e-scooters, it is illegal to use them on the road or public spaces.
Anyone stopped by police riding a privately-owned e-scooter on a public road or land could have their e-scooter seized, and be liable for prosecution. However, many private e-scooters are seen used in Bristol city centre.
But the law could be changed after the Government announced its intention to create a low-speed zero-emission category of vehicle, which could include e-scooters and make them legal to use in public, under the upcoming Transport Bill.
Back in December, Mayor Marvin Rees supported calls for the legalisation of private e-scooters, saying they are ‘a reality of life now’.
Mr Norris, who is the father and manager of Formula One driver Lano Norris, said: “In May, the UK Government announced the introduction of a new vehicle class – the zero-emission light vehicle class – which will include regulations around how private e-scooters could be used in the UK.
“We are actively supporting the Department of Transport as they design a regulatory framework in readiness for legalisation of private e-scooters in the UK.”