Transport laws are about to change, thanks to the government’s new Future of Mobility Urban Strategy, which will reassess the ways in which goods and people move about the UK. In particular, this strategy will observe how electric vehicles, including e-scooters and e-cargo bikes navigate roads, and what this means for the future of road safety.
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: “The automotive industry is responding to perhaps the most significant change since the invention of the car. Mobility as we know it is evolving, improving people’s day-to-day lives with implications for all of society.”
However, the largest UK road safety charity in the UK, IAM RoadSmart has raised concerns over the rising popularity of e-vehicles. As electric modes of transport are becoming increasingly normalised, more and more of the UK population will begin using them on the roads. However, our road and pedestrian systems were not built with these vehicles in mind, so this needs to be considered when implementing a new road investment.
Electric vehicles not only pose a threat to themselves regarding road safety, but all other vehicles, too. All e-vehicle riders may need to be educated on road safety before taking advantage on new road systems.
To tackle this road safety issue, the government has a £90 million fund to use on selected areas; testing new ways of incorporating these new modes of transport into our roads. Although, the IAM RoadSmart charity stresses that these plans need immediate attention.
Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “Electric scooters are simply not safe enough to be on our roads alongside full size vehicles.
“While we welcome this potentially useful announcement, transport changes and trends are happening far faster than the network is developing to accommodate them. This ought to have happened a long time ago, and so should be implemented as a matter of urgency.”