Beryl boss responds to 2023 King’s Speech
Shared sustainable transport provider Beryl has responded to the lack of e-scooter legislation in the latest speech by His Majesty King Charles III.
Delivered on Tuesday 6 November at the Palace of Westminster, the speech outlined plans to extend the existing e-scooter trials to May 2026, but offered no mention of new laws relating to the vehicles.
It also promised to consult later this year on possible regulations including minimum rider ages and maximum speed.
Beryl CEO and co-founder, Phil Ellis, described the speech as a missed opportunity.
“We’ve shown over a period of time that the demand for e-scooters is there - people want to use them and do so because they offer so many benefits that are complementary to other forms of sustainable transport.
“When schemes are delivered properly and in an integrated fashion, cities know that they can rely on e-scooters as a fundamental part of their transport strategies.
“The failure to deliver clear and coherent legislation for e-scooters in this year’s speech is a real missed opportunity and could have made them even more accessible to a greater number of people.
“This would have boosted their popularity further and normalised their presence on our roads which, in turn, would amplify calls for the better infrastructure that would improve safety and the perception of safety.
“The result of that would be even more people leaving their cars at home - so less traffic, a healthier population and cleaner air - surely things that we all want.”
New laws on e-scooters were announced in the Queen's Speech in May 2022. At present e-scooters may only be ridden on the roads legally through rental trial schemes that have been set up in dozens of towns and cities. Beryl currently operates four trial schemes in Bournemouth and Poole, Norwich, the Isle of Wight and in the West Midlands.
Released in December 2022, the Department for Transport’s National Evaluation of e-scooter trials findings report showed Bournemouth to be the second and Norwich to be the fifth most utilised trials in the 32 across the country. To date, the Beryl trials have generated over 1,718,000 journeys across nearly 5.5m km, replacing nearly 485,000 private transport journeys (car, van, taxi or motorbike).
“The failure to deliver clear and coherent legislation for e-scooters in this year’s speech is a real missed opportunity and could have made them even more accessible to a greater number of people."