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30 Apr 2019, 13:12
Kerstine Appunn

German states debate use of e-scooters on pavements and cycle lanes

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s federal council of state governments (Bundesrat), the second legislative chamber, today debates the use of e-scooters on pavements and cycle lanes. While federal transport minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) wants to permit slower (up to 12 km/h) e-scooters on pavements and faster ones (up to 20 km/h) on cycle lanes as part of new, climate-friendly mobility concepts for cities, many state governments and municipalities are critical of the new vehicles. Some, like the city of Frankfurt, fear that a large amount of for-hire e-scooters will flood the streets and lead to conflicts with other forms of transport, some are worried about the safety of pedestrians and some doubt that e-scooters would reduce emissions if used as a substitute for walking or cycling.

Since e-scooters are currently not a legal means of transport in public spaces in Germany, the federal transport ministry has proposed regulation that permits and limits their use by different age groups and on different parts of the road. While the federal government has agreed to the regulation (which does not have to be passed by parliament), the Bundesrat will have its final vote on 17 May 2019.

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