Electric Cycles

Transport – in the House of Commons on 2nd July 2020.

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Photo of Royston Smith Royston Smith Conservative, Southampton, Itchen

What steps his Department is taking to encourage people to use electric cycles.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The Government have simplified their cycle to work scheme guidance to help employers to access e-bikes at a discount.

Photo of Royston Smith Royston Smith Conservative, Southampton, Itchen

Southampton has received Government funding for additional cycle lanes, many of which lie unused for most of the day. My constituency is surrounded by hills, which is quite a deterrent for people on cycles. E-bikes and e-scooters could make a significant difference. I welcome the news that e-scooters will become legal this weekend, but without relaxing the regulations for privately owned e-scooters, a city centre hire scheme will make little or no difference in Southampton. Will my hon. Friend look again at privately owned e-scooters to encourage more of my constituents out of their cars?

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

My hon. Friend is right to say that we need to capitalise on the unprecedented growth in active travel that we have seen recently, especially on bicycles and e-bicycles. He is completely correct about e-scooters; these trials will only include rental scooters. This will allow them to take place in a controlled manner while we assess the safety and other impacts. A wide range of e-scooters are available, building to different standards. I would like to think that the trials will demonstrate how useful they are in the mix for active travel.