ScotRail bans e-scooters and other electric devices from trains

It comes after a spike in fires caused by the lithium-ion powered vehicles on the rail network.

ScotRail bans e-scooters and other electric devices from trains Getty Images

ScotRail has followed other train operators in banning e-scooters from its services.

The temporary prohibition on all lithium-ion powered micro devices in all stations comes into effect from Thursday.

It includes:

  • e-scooters
  • e-unicycles
  • e-hoverboards
  • e-skateboards

The national operator said it wanted everyone who travels on the rail network to be able to do so “with confidence in a safe and friendly environment”.

The policy does not apply to personal mobility devices, powered wheelchairs and power assisted bicycles or e-bikes, which are regulated by UK legislation and British Standards.

Why has ScotRail banned e-scooters from trains?

While e-scooters are legally available to purchase, it is currently against the law to ride a privately owned e-scooter in any public place in the UK, including roads, pavements, parks and town centres.

In July last year, the UK Government introduced legislation trialling the use of e-scooters for 12 months through approved rental companies – however there are currently no such rental schemes operating in Scotland.

Along with other unregulated lithium-ion battery micro devices, e-scooters do not adhere to any technical safety standards, and because these devices are not governed by any UK legislation, there is an increased risk in fire caused by the devices.

ScotRail and other train operators say they’ve seen a spike in fires across the rail network.

“When a micro device battery is damaged by impact, overcharged, overheated, or designed with a manufacturing defect, the battery cells can quickly become unstable and rapidly release vast amounts of stored energy, which generates excessive heat and can quickly spread to other cells in the battery pack resulting in fire, or even explosion,” ScotRail said.

A spokesperson said the policy will be reviewed in 12 months once more data is available on the safe operation and transport of the devices, or when any formal legislation comes into effect.

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