Where can I ride my hoverboard UK?
You've just bought a fantastic new hoverboard and you want to pop to the shops on it or shoot across town to see a friend. Hold that thought. While you will often see an electric scooter and hoverboard scooting around town, there are legal limits as to where you can ride them in the UK.
If you are asking yourself, where can I ride by hoverboard? then you should know that it is illegal to ride a Segway board or electric scooter in the UK on the pavements as they are classed as 'motor vehicles. You can't ride them on the roads either as hoverboards and e-scooters are not licensed and insured.
So where can I ride my hoverboard UK?
You can ride your scooter or hoverboard on private land and with the landowner's permission. We envisage that there will be a change to the rulings in the not too distant future.
In some European countries and in the US, electric scooters and Segways/hoverboards can be used on pavements and cycle lanes and here in the UK, some organisations have recognised their merit. For example, airport owner BAA allows staff to travel around Heathrow airport on Hoverboard's. In fact, Usain Bolt was once spotted riding one through arrivals.
We believe that e-scooters and hoverboards will be used in urban areas and city centres, where people tend to take short journeys for education, work and leisure. Locations, where rentable e-scooters could be utilised, will follow, for example on university campuses, transport hubs like a railway station, shopping areas and large businesses.
In terms of speed, range, and safety issues, electric scooters and hoverboards have a lower speed range than cars, are faster than walking and similar to cycling speeds. Used properly with the right safety gear, they are a great way to get about.
Sharing urban space
Cycle lanes could be a solution. Research done in Atlanta found that when the electric scooter is ridden on temporary segregated lanes, it actually improves safety. The UK is still lagging behind many European cities when it comes to safe structural infrastructure.
The UK can learn from other cities in Europe on how to effectively use electric scooter and space. Barcelona has established regulation that limits the use of electric scooters and speed when sharing path space with pedestrians. Also, electric scooters have been banned from pavements in Paris.
The UK government can also engage in meaningful discussion with e-scooter owners. Some e-scooter companies have been discussing actively with researchers, police, local authorities and transport providers. They have come up with ideas on how cities and urban centres can support the rapid development of electric scooters.
Legalising the electric scooter or Segway hoverboards would require the government to consider the impact on other road users. There would have to be minimum standards for safety requirements such as brakes, lights, and reflectors. Some cities would also require users to wear a helmet when riding electric scooters or hoverboards.
We predict there will be similar schemes to the UK's Bikeability, that actively encourages safe cycling. A good rider of the electric scooter or hoverboard, will find similar schemes with online and in-app resources provided by manufacturers.
Drivers should educate themselves on how to share the road with electric scooters and Segway riders. The legality of electric scooters will have to be reviewed and provide guidance and safety measures when necessary.
Where can I park my hoverboard?
Although, electric scooters and hoverboards are small, you might require a short stop-over in your journey meaning parking might be a problem especially if it’s a busy path. It is worth looking into secure locks for e-scooters. The great thing about a hoverboard is, you can tuck it under your arm or pop it into a rucksack.
Whether you are a practiced e-scooter or hoverboard rider or a new comer to the craze, check out where you can ride your hoverboard in the UK before you start.