The policy is still under development and I am grateful to my noble friend for highlighting her concerns for our consideration as we develop it going forward. It is very important that we develop a safe, proportionate and flexible regulatory regime. To do that, we need the data from the various trials which are going ahead, the future of transport regulatory call for evidence, ongoing conversations with stakeholders and more research. I reassure my noble friend that we are making progress. I recognise that there is more to be done.
The Minister describes a very complicated and confusing situation. Is she able to explain to the House where e-scooters can be legally used in England and where they cannot? Will she pass on that information to the police?
Yes, I can explain that. It is illegal to use a private e-scooter on all public land. It is certainly illegal to use one on the pavement or the road. Trials have been set up around the country to develop evidence for future regulatory reform, and, within those trial areas, it is allowable to ride an e-scooter on a road or cycle path. We are working very closely with the police on enforcement; for example, the National Police Chiefs’ Council is developing a national strategy for tackling the illegal use of e-scooters. My officials are working very closely with it on that.
The noble Baroness is quite right. We are working very closely with local authorities to meet the needs of local communities, particularly in relation to buses, on which, as she recognises, capacity has been significantly reduced. We have an opportunity in that there will be a national bus strategy, in which we will look at how to put low- emissions vehicles on our streets.
My Lords, over the weekend, the roads in beauty spots and especially in national parks were blocked by parked cars, so much so that emergency services here in the Lake District National Park were not able to get through. However, you cannot get either into or around the national park by public transport. Will HMG therefore think very seriously indeed about any further relaxation of the lockdown, such as opening hotels or boarding houses, until we resolve the public transport problem?
The noble Lord is right that there is a significant increase in traffic at the moment, and in certain circumstances that has led to localised congestion from parking. Of course, local authorities and the local police have the power to move cars on to make sure that emergency vehicles are not prevented from getting to their destination.