Drivers in Wales warned they could lose licence if found riding e-scooters illegally

E-scooters are illegal to ride in Wales. Trials of the devices are currently taking place in some English cities. Credit: PA

Any new drivers in Wales could be disqualified from driving if they're found riding an e-scooter illegally.

Dyfed-Powys Police is reminding people that if they ride one of the devices on public land, they are breaking the law.

E-scooters can only be ridden on private land in Wales, with the landowner's permission.

The message from the force comes after the UK Transport Minister, Jesse Norman, urged retailers to advise customers about the legal status of e-scooters, especially with many expected to be bought as gifts for Christmas.

Anyone found using the devices on public roads, pavements or cycle paths in Wales risk being issued with a £300 fine, six penalty points on their driving licence and having the e-scooter seized.

As well as that, any driver or motorcyclist that has passed their driving test in the last two years could face a driving disqualification and need to re-take both the theory and practical driving test.

Trials of rental e-scooters are currently taking place in some parts of England, and can only be used within the local area hosting the trial.

Chief Inspector Chris Neve, Specialist Operations Department, said:

“I would remind anyone considering purchasing an e-scooter, or anyone who has purchased one, that it is illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter on public roads, pavements or cycle paths. Their speed and silence can pose a significant danger to other road users and pedestrian safety, especially vulnerable pedestrians.”

Speaking to ITV Sharp End earlier this year, Sam Pooke, from Voi Electric Scooters, one of the companies running the trial in England, says Wales is currently missing out by not taking part.

Voi takes the view that e-scooters are very beneficial in tackling climate change, claiming that over five million car journeys have been replaced during their trials.

But there are concerns from some organisations that e-scooters pose a risk to people's safety, especially for those with sight and hearing impairments.

Members of the Royal National Institute of Blind People have said that e-scooters are extremely difficult for blind or partially sighted people to see and hear.

"It may not always be obvious to someone riding an e-scooter they are approaching a pedestrian with sight loss. These vehicles will travel at higher speeds more often than pedestrians or pedal bicycles.

"They can be heavy, so we have serious concerns about the risk of collisions with blind or partially sighted pedestrians.

 Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...