E-scooters to be banned from London's tubes, trains and buses from Monday

Commuters will be banned from carrying privately owned e-scooters on Transport for London tubes, trains and buses from Monday after reports of their batteries catching fire.

Fines of up to £1,000 will be handed out to passengers found with e-scooters that are not rented from TfL licensed operators, after a number of the vehicles set fire when their lithium-ion batteries ruptured without warning.

Rental e-scooters have to meet more robust safety standards than privately owned transporters, which are currently not required to meet any minimum vehicle standards.

Two privately owned e-scooters have set alight on the TfL network in recent weeks causing "intense fires and considerable smoke and damage," a network spokesperson said.

"We have been extremely worried by the recent incidents on our public transport services, which involved intense fires and considerable smoke and damage," said Lilli Matson, TfL's Chief Safety, Health and Environment Officer.

"We have worked with London Fire Brigade to determine how we should deal with these devices and, following that review, we have decided to ban them."

TfL rental e-scooters were introduced in June

Customers who try to take private e-scooters onto TfL stations and premises will be refused access and prevented from using services.

The ban will include all e-scooters and e-unicycles, but does not include mobility scooters that are permitted on the network, or foldable e-bikes.

London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Paul Jennings, said: "We have growing concerns about the safety of e-scooters due to the amount of fires we are seeing involving them, so we fully support TfL's ban of private e-scooters on public transport.

"Fires are dangerous and terrifying wherever they happen, but a fire on the transport network has the potential to become very serious very quickly and involve hundreds of people, particularly on trains where evacuation may be challenging, so anything that can be done to mitigate that risk is a positive step."

The use of privately-owned e-scooters and e-unicycles on roads and cycleways is widespread but illegal.

On Thursday the Guide Dogs charity urged the Government to intervene to raise awareness about the dangers of privately owned e-scooters, saying trials of e-scooter hire schemes have sparked a "boom" in private sales.

"If the Government is seriously considering fully legalising e-scooters on public roads, they need to get a grip on safety," said spokesperson Chris Theobald.

"Our testing shows that everybody is at risk, not just people with visual impairments."