UK reveals plans for medical drones, e-scooters and more

Riding an e-scooter on public roads and pavements is still illegal in the UK.

However, the government has made plans to update the rules in the years to come.

Today, the Department for Transport announced funding of £90m that will go towards trialling the on-demand model (popularised by the likes of Uber) for buses, medical delivery drones, e-scooters and e-cargo bikes.

The aim is to provide an alternative to commuting by private vehicles.

According to transport secretary Grant Shapps, this should pave the way for testing new transport technology and cement the UK as a world-leading innovator.

Although several models and services have been attempted already, not all of them have managed to live up to people’s expectations.

For instance, two years ago, Bird launched an e-scooter trial in London.

The range and scope, however, were both rather limited.

Citymapper’s on-demand bus trials were also shut down last year.

As for e-scooters, since certain people choose to blatantly disregard the rules and use them anyway, the government’s concerted efforts should help them thrive even more – but legally this time.

However, before they can be legalised, the following requirements will need to be discussed: minimum age, insurance requirements, traffic laws, parking rules and vehicle requirements.

Alan Clarke, director of UK policy and government affairs at Lime, is pleased that the government is exploring greener means of commuting.

As shared electric scooters are convenient, affordable, safe and emission-free, he views them as a great option that should help keep more cars off the road.

When the new transport zones are established, local bodies such as universities, hospitals, airports and councils will be able to find new, innovative ways for transporting people and goods.

Autonomous vehicle trials will also be part of the equation, coupled with multi-modal transportation apps and on-demand bus schemes.