Britain’s illegal transport: What’s been banned on roads and pavements?
By: Rachel Barton
Last updated: 15 December 2015
Technological advances have seen a surge in the variety of transport on our roads. For the safety of road users and pedestrians, it is important that governmental guidelines are adhered to.
Vehicle owners who do not comply with laws concerning modes of transport may be liable to:
•Points on your licence
•Seizure of a vehicle
•Increased insurance premiums
•Injury to yourself or others
•Claims for damage/injury to a 3rd party
So, if you are planning on purchasing a new bike, hover board or quadbike this Christmas, you should read the guidelines on that specific product before taking it for a trial run.
One of the most recent bans has included the use of hoverboards. According to guidance released by the Crown Prosecution Service, self-balancing scooters / hoverboards / hands-free segways are now illegal to ride on both roads and pavements in Britain as they do not meet ‘current requirements as by approved via ECWVTA or MSVA’.
So where can I use it?
On land which is private property and with the landowner's permission.
Mini Motos, GoPeds, Mechanical Scooters and Trail Bikes
According to GOV.UK, ‘Most quad bikes can’t be used on the road because they don’t meet road safety standards.’ However, if your quadbike does indeed meet the required standards in order for it to be deemed fit for road usage, you will still need for it to be ‘registered, taxed and have an MOT’ to be considered a legal form of transportation.
Mini Motos, GoPeds and Trail bikes cannot be used on public roads or pavements.
So where can I use them?
Again, on land which is private property and with the landowner's permission. Appropriate safety-wear should be worn.
Cycling as a sport has substantially increased in terms of popularity in recent years. The coverage of the Olympics, the Tour de France and other such races have seen new cycling schemes start up nationwide. Despite many having taken their ‘Cycling Proficiency Test’, back when they were of school age, many are still choosing to cycle on pavements, which is against the law as it poses a real threat to pedestrians (especially the young and aged). You should never choose to cycle on a motorway or road which is in the same category as motorways.
So where can I cycle?
Bikes are permitted on most UK roads; cycle lanes are also readily available in most towns and cities.
Mobility Scooters and Powered Wheelchairs
As noted by the GOV.UK, there are two categories of mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs
- ‘class 2 invalid carriages’ - these can’t be used on the road (except where there isn’t a pavement) and have a maximum speed of 4mph
- ‘class 3 invalid carriages’ - these can be used on the road, and have a maximum speed of 4mph off the road, and 8mph on the road
You don’t need to register a class 2 invalid carriage.
You must register Class 3 invalid carriages.
So where can I use it?
Depending on the type of mobility scooter, you can make use of roads or pavements however, the relevant speed limits do apply.
As noted by the British Horse Society, ‘You must not take a horse onto a footpath or pavement and you should not take a horse onto a cycle track.’ You also must wear an endorsed riding helmet. Horse and carriages, as well as ridden horses are permitted to use most roads. Even dual carriageways are permitted, if you make use of the bridal path along the side of the carriageway (although riders should apply due caution and consider whether it is advisable if the horse is of a nervous predicament). However, any roads that are categorised under the same restrictions of that of a motorway are not permitted.
So where am I permitted to ride my horse?
‘Use a bridleway where possible. Equestrian crossings may be provided for horse riders to cross the road and you should use these where available. You should dismount at level crossings where a ‘Horse Riders Dismount’ sign is displayed.’
The Grey Areas
In-line skating / Rollerblading
The laws surrounding the use of in-line skates and rollerblades have been vague at the best of times. For this reason, we recommend that you use skates respectfully. Do not speed round people with children or the elderly and do not perform stunt tricks on public property such as park benches. Look to use suitable skate parks and roads that are not used by a large volume of people.
Un-motorised scooters & Skateboards
Although there has been a nationwide law banning usage of non-motorised scooters and skateboard usage on pavements and roads; police have had a hard time enforcing the law.
So where can I legally use them?
Skate parks have been created nationwide for their usage. Private land, with the owner’s permission is also permitted.
It is always advisable to check out local bylaws, as for some sports or modes of transport, the law varies. Ben from Click4reg commented, ‘Parents should encourage children to be safe when riding bikes, horses or using rollerblades. This should first be done by leading by example. Proper safety wear should be worn and reflective gear should be used at night.’ Although certain guidelines are in place to promote safety; the government supports those who wish to maintain an active lifestyle. For sports such as horse riding, cycling and rollerblading; check out your local authority’s schemes to help getting younger children active and enjoying sport.