London’s transport regulator, Transport for London (TfL), have released a statement advising taxi and private hire drivers that they are not compelled to accept a journey where a passenger is carrying an electric scooter.
TfL announced that all privately-owned e-scooters and e-unicycles, including those that can be folded or carried, will not be permitted on its services from Monday 13 December 2021.
This is the result of safety concerns about these items following recent fires on transport premises and services. Customers in possession of such devices will not be permitted to enter any premises on TfL’s network or travel on any of its services, including on the Tube, buses, Overground, TfL Rail, Trams and DLR.
In addition to the above, TfL said that all taxi and private hire licence holders ‘should consider whether it would be appropriate to carry e-scooters or e-unicycles and be aware that they are not compelled to transport them’.
Drivers have the right to refuse carriage of anything that may pose a risk to their safety and the safety of the travelling public, and this includes e-scooters and e-unicycles.
TfL also added the following advice for private hire operators: “We encourage PHV operators to consider whether they wish to carry e-scooters and e-unicycles and to make passengers aware, during the booking process, that these items may be refused carriage in licensed PHVs.”
This guidance does not include foldable e-bikes, that are generally subject to better manufacturing standards and the batteries are usually positioned in a place where they are less likely to be damaged, and so are less of a fire risk.