A COUNCIL has “no plans at present” to take part in national e-scooter trials.

The Future Transport Zone trials would make it legal to ride certain hired scooters in the areas taking part, but Brighton and Hove will not be among them any time soon.

Despite a recent surge in popularity meaning electric scooters are now a common sight on the streets of Brighton and Hove, it is currently against the law to ride them on the road, pavement and in cycle lanes.

The Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, supported by Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Highways England, Sussex Police and West Sussex County Council, is currently leading a campaign to remind people that e-scooters are illegal in all areas other than on private land.

The police have stopped several people using the scooters in Brighton and flyers with the latest guidance and details on the Future Transport Zone trials have been distributed across Sussex.

The flyer says: “All local authorities can apply to take part but at the moment Sussex is not part of the trials.”

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder of Sussex Police said: “As Sussex is not taking part in the Future Transport trials, it is important to remind the public that they remain illegal to use on public roads.”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman confirmed the city would not be taking part in the trials.

She said: “We fully support the present campaign by Sussex Police and Sussex Safer Roads Partnership.

“We have participated in the Department for Transport consultation on this subject and this has raised a number of road safety, antisocial behaviour and accessibility concerns.

“There are no plans at present to participate in e-scooter trials locally but we will be watching the outcomes in other UK cities with interest.

“There are many issues to consider with the use of and trials of e-scooters, which must be reviewed properly and using evidence available to us.

"For example, some schemes elsewhere have pushed for strict safety measures and the government is also consulting on the possibility of requiring a driving licence and age restrictions to operate an e-scooter.

“Our continued plan to lower emissions in the city does mean that we will continue to focus on walking, cycling, maintaining and supporting the city’s excellent bus services, and providing infrastructure for electric vehicle charging.

"In the longer term we are open to the idea of trialling e-scooters but this will depend very much on lessons learned from the initial phase elsewhere.”