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‘Hoverboard’ scooters are illegal on UK roads and pavements


Hover Scooter

If you’re into cruising around the streets on those gravity-defying scooters, we’ve got some bad news for you.

The Crown Prosecution Service has released new guidance that forbids the use of self-balancing scooters on UK streets and pavements.

That means you won’t be able to use the Segway-inspired wheeled vehicles – commonly referred to as ‘hoverboards’ – in public anymore.

“Vehicles must be approved via ECWVTA or MSVA in order to be licensed and registered. Self-balancing scooters would not currently meet the requirements of these schemes so are not legal for road use,” reads the new CPS guidance.

It continues: “It is an offence under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 to ride or drive a vehicle on the pavement.”

That’s sure to leave a sour taste in the mouths of wannabe Marty McFly’s across the country who’ve shelled out upwards of £500 on the scooters.

Fortunately, all is not lost; there are still places where you can ride the scooters.

“You can only ride an unregistered self-balancing scooter on land which is private property and with the landowner’s permission,” explains the CPS.

So, you’ll be able to whizz about to your heart’s content in your own garden.

Related: I love commuting with an electric bike, and here's why

Some of you may be wondering why electric bicycles are given the thumbs-up for UK roads, but electric self-balancing scooters have been shunned.

Here’s what the CPS has to say on that matter:

“Bicycles are covered by different rules to those applying to self-balancing scooters. Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles must meet the requirements of the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983. Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles that conform to these regulations are considered to be pedal cycles and as such are allowed to use cycle facilities such as cycle lanes on the road and cycle tracks away from the road which other powered vehicles are prohibited from using.”

It adds: “A self-balancing scooter does not meet these requirements as it cannot be pedaled.”

What do you make of this new legal revelation? Let us know in the comments.


October 12, 2015, 1:11 pm

Half of me thinks this is ridiculous and another typically British obstacle to progress. The other half of me thinks they have a point - a couple of weeks ago I saw a couple of yobs racing through the Victoria Station forecourt on these things, smashing into people as they went, and laughing at the trail of destruction they left in their wake.


October 12, 2015, 2:12 pm

Totally invalid argument, i stopped reading after the first line, perhaps you should google ECWVTA? Safety first my friend, safety first & no i don't drive a chelsea tractor!


October 12, 2015, 2:17 pm

This is/was supposed to be the must have this Xmas for early teens, lets hope the likes of Amazon have the decency to insist that all there re-sellers make it clear the legalities of buying one for use in the UK. We were looking at one for our son, having lost the argument over broken bones....... Now we can quote the law (sounds unfair i know) & really glad we didn't shell in excess of £300 only to find he won't be able to use it within the boundaries of the law


October 12, 2015, 2:24 pm

This is disappointing. They could have allowed these to be used on the pavements providing that they imposed a maximum speed limit on these boards and also a minimum age requirement for use on public pavements. I don't see these boards as posing much of a safety risk to the public any more than motorised wheelchairs. Proper regulation and licensing is what's needed, not a blanket ban on public roads.


October 12, 2015, 3:35 pm

Nothing new here, despite several attempts by MPs to amend the legislation, Segways have been ruled out since they were first introduced well over 10 years ago.
They aren't illegal, it's just that they aren't allowed on pavements. And they aren't allowed on roads. That's all.
We are possibly the only country in the world who will allow a nonagenarian with little sight and no experience to plough regardless through pedestrians on an electric scooter but not allow a fit, even licensed and tested, person to ride a Segway responsibly.


October 12, 2015, 7:58 pm

Well, I'll be braking the law then. In related news, I copied one of my CD's to mp3 files tonight...good grief, throw away the key!


October 14, 2015, 5:18 pm

The law wouldn't apply to them since we know they are not a motor vehicle. It needs to change to adapt to reality. We have cyclist lanes popping up, these could easily use that space. They're far better than buses and less pollution for the commuter who just wants to get to the train station for their ride to work. Portable too.

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