gtag('config', 'AW-784683742'); E-scooter NZ: Legalise e-scooters in cycleways. – Freed Electric Scooters

E-scooter NZ: Legalise e-scooters in cycleways.

E scooter NZ. Riding up Parnell Rise on my electric scooter,

Nothing beats a ride on a sunny day. Out on the road with the wind in your hair. The freedom to go where you want, when you want. The only restriction is how brave you feel and how much muscle power (or battery 🙂) you have. 

I’ve been cycling in Auckland my whole life. When I discovered e-scooters I felt a bit sheepish in the cycle lane. It is the cycle lane after all. But no one really seems to mind.

According to a recent poll conducted by Freed Electric Scooters, E-scooters in NZ are welcome in cycle lanes.

Cyclists use the pink pathway in Auckland on opening day

E-scooters are great for shorter trips where bike parking might be problematic. They are perfect as last mile transport to and from the bus.

On longer rides it is better to have a large scooter. Many people travel 30km or more every day on their e-scooter and they love it. It saves time, saves money, is fun and has zero emissions on the road.

Cycle lanes are becoming a fast transit network for e bikes and electric scooters in Auckland. They allow people to move freely around our congested city without adding to traffic congestion.

These cycle lanes connect our communities. And as the cycle network becomes more connected more people begin to use them to commute.

But should electric powered bikes or scooters be using them? The answer I think lies beyond any narrow interpretation of the cycle lane.

Alternative transport infrastructure in any city has the potential to enable freedom of movement. Car infrastructure has the opposite effect by hemming us all in with increasingly busy roads.

Fewer cars means faster travel times for commercial and commuter traffic. But for fewer cars, the alternatives must be in place. It’s the economic chicken and egg.

We know that if we build more roads, people will drive more. They say the same of sports stadiums, ‘build it and they will come’. But the same is true of cycle lanes.

It is now well documented; that old chicken and egg analogy does not apply to cycle lanes. We need to have safe, separated cycle lanes before people feel safe enough to use a bike or e-scooter.

And use them we do.

E trike 3 wheel electric mobility scooter

Derek purchased a 3 wheel electric scooter to get around as he is no longer able to use a car. He prefers to avoid the road. But Derek can still travel far and wide using cycleways and shared footpaths. He is delighted to regain the freedom of movement he thought he had lost.

Alicia has been using a scooter as sole mode of transport for several years and uses it for shopping and ferrying kids around. She uses hers every day, in all weather.

Neill McGuire in Auckland commutes from Glenfield to Albany using a mix of cycleways, footpaths and parks. He has a large power scooter. It gives him range, large tyres suited to uneven surfaces, and uphill torque. He uses it everyday in summer and any other day where the chance of rain is low. 

Neill has been commuting by e-scooter already for several years and loves it. He reports that in 2024 he regularly sees 4 - 5 other regular commuters on his route.

Neill also says it has helped his mental health. The ride home allows him to decompress. Taking in the scenery outdoors, the mindful attention it requires. He gets the chance to “slow down, breathe the air” and says it is “actually quite nice”. 

Neill deliberately avoids riding on the road after two near misses early on and says “people just don’t see you.”

So folks are using cycle lanes. Cycle lanes are a safe alternative to the road.

So should e scooters be in cycle lanes? We think yes. They are an expensive piece of roading infrastructure. It makes sense to maximise their use by making e-scooters in NZ legal in the cycle lane.

Quay Street Cycle lane Auckland with e scooter image included in the painted graphic
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