Mobility scooter laws for pavement users
By: Philippa Harrington, On: 06 July 2020
Today, there are over 250,000 mobility scooters used in the UK. The rise of affordable mobility scooters has given freedom and mobility to thousands of people around the country, and trends show that over the next decade, the number of mobility scooters on Britain’s roads will only go up.
And yet, many people are still confused about the laws surrounding mobility scooters in the UK. These vehicles blur the boundaries of road vehicles and pavement vehicles, leaving many people unsure of what the official rules are. Knowing what the law has to say about riding a mobility scooter on the pavement in the UK is the best way to ensure that you are driving your mobility scooter safely and legally.
Can I go on the pavement with a mobility scooter?
Yes – in fact, it is preferred that mobility scooters are driven on pavements where they are available, as pavements are safer than roads. This means that mobility scooters should only be driven on roads when there is no suitable pavement to drive on. Only class 3 mobility scooters may be driven on roads, while all mobility scooters may be driven on the pavement.
Who has right of way on the pavement?
Mobility scooters are fast, heavy vehicles and as such it’s important to recognise the danger they pose to other pavement users. Mobility scooter users must always show consideration for other pavement users and give right of way to pedestrians when necessary. This is especially true in cases where other pavement users may have hearing or visual impairments, as they might not be aware of your presence.
Do I need insurance to drive a mobility scooter on the pavement?
No, you are not legally required to obtain insurance for a mobility scooter, whether it is used on the pavement or the road. However, insurance is often recommended particularly where mobility scooters may be taken onto roads.
Is there a speed limit for mobility scooters on the pavement?
Yes, class 2 mobility scooters – the kind which are only allowed on the pavement – will have a maximum speed limit of 4 mph. While class 3 mobility scooters have a maximum speed limit of 8 mph, this is only for use while on the road. All mobility scooters, no matter their class, must be limited to 4 mph while travelling on the pavement to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
Do I need to pass a test to drive a mobility scooter on the pavement?
No, there is no formal test for driving a mobility scooter whether it is driven on the pavement or the road. However, before getting behind the wheel of any vehicle, it’s important to ensure that you understand how the vehicle is operated and ensure that your eyesight is up to par. This usually means that you should be able to read a car’s registration plate from a distance of about 20 feet.
Are there parking restrictions for mobility scooters?
Yes, mobility scooters are usually subject to the same parking restrictions as other vehicles. This means you can’t park your mobility scooter on the pavement or on a public footpath, as it might block the way of other pavement users including wheelchair users and parents with prams and buggies. You should contact your local authority for more information about parking options in your area.
If I can’t drive on the pavement, can I use the road?
Class 3 mobility scooters may be driven on the road when necessary, but for all vehicles, it is preferable that pavements are used wherever possible. The rules of the road are slightly different and just a little more complicated, so if you plan on taking your mobility scooter on the road, be sure to read our FAQs for road users (link).
How can I safely move between the pavement and the road?
The Highway Code makes special reference to moving off between the pavement and the road, emphasising the special care that must be taken by mobility scooter users when making this transition. It is important to look around to make sure it’s safe to join traffic, and always use dropped kerbs even if it means travelling further to locate one.
By following these rules and using caution at all times, mobility scooter users across the country can enjoy the freedom of their independence while ensuring that the UK’s pavements are still safe for all.