Electric Bicycle and Scooter Draft Policy Proposal

Closed 12 Mar 2021

Opened 29 Jan 2021

Feedback updated 20 Dec 2021

We asked

People for their views on the introduction of electric scooters and higher powered electric bicycles on the Island. We asked for this information to help inform decision making when encouraging a modal shift in transport choice away from cars to less damaging forms of transport. 

You said

In total 78 responses were received. 70% of the submissions were in favour of the policy, 25% were against and the remaining 5% offered general comments and thoughts but did not state whether they were for and against the proposal.

Out of the total submissions, both positive and negative, 16% of responses thought that e-bikes and e-scooters should have a form of third party insurance. Whilst 15% stated that these modes of transport should be fitted with a bell or another audible device to alert other riders, pedestrians and horse riders to their presence.

14% of submissions suggested that the current infrastructure for e-bikes and e-scooters to operate on is insufficient. Respondents felt that additional cycle lanes are needed in order to feel safer and more comfortable riding on the road. More routes like the recently refurbished Crosby to Peel Heritage Trail were also highlighted for those who don’t feel at ease riding amongst traffic.

12% of submissions felt that helmets should be mandatory not only for the electric powered bicycles, but also the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) and e-scooters. It was not clear if the people proposing this were cyclists.

A number of other ideas were raised by fewer than 10% of submissions. They were:

  1. Age restriction – there should be an age restriction placed on both EAPCs and e-scooters as well as the electric powered bicycles of 16 and older. A small number of responses suggested the minimum age should be 14.
  2. Proficiency test – although no formal test should be required, people did feel perhaps some form of proficiency test would be prudent before riding.
  3. A number of people argued against the idea that e-bikes and e-scooters are actually active travel and do not require any significant physical exertion.
  4. Parking – there needs to be more dedicated areas to lock up/store these vehicles, e-bikes in particular.
  5. A small number of responses stated that both e-bikes and e-scooters should not be allowed on pavements.
  6. Fewer than 5 people suggested that e-bikes and e-scooters should have to be registered, pay road tax or carry at least a provisional driving licence.

The Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT) and one other submission had no issues with the use of e-bikes and e-scooters in general, however they are concerned over the use on the open hills or ‘off piste cycling’. E-bikes, in particular, can cause damage to the off-road area and may impact the upland peat restoration works.

A representative of equestrian safety on the Island alongside the British Horse Society felt that the introduction of e-bikes and e-scooters will impact on the safety of horses and their riders. They suggested electric powered bicycles should only be ridden on cycle tracks, roads and greenways. If in a shared space, riders must give way to and avoid pedestrians and equestrians. E-bike and e-scooters should be seen and heard by saying ‘hi’ or ringing a bell when approaching.

The police also submitted comments. They feel the proposal is detrimental to the objectives of The Road Safety Strategy (2019-2029), i.e. in terms of reducing the number of road traffic collisions. They cite the increasing accident statistics from other countries as a significant cause for concern, particularly riders suffering heading injuries. For example, in relation to e-scooters, in America, there has been a 222% increase in injuries since 2018. However, e-scooter ridership increased from 38.5 million trips in 2018 to 88.5 million in 2019, an increase of 130%. E-scooter accidents are not increasing because they are inherently dangerous to ride, it is due to the drastically increased volume of e-scooters in operation which will undoubtedly result in more accidents being recorded. The Police highlighted that it believes motorised vehicles and pedestrians should be kept separate.

We did

Highway Services would like to thank those who have responded to the consultation. All responses have been reviewed and have help to make alterations to the draft policy.


The Isle of Man Government is committed to the health and wellbeing of its residents creating an enjoyable place to live, grow, work and play. As the use of electric bicycles and scooters becomes more popular and technology improves, the Department has identified that a clear, concise policy is required to support the adoption of these technologies.

The Department wants to encourage a modal shift in transport choice away from vehicles such as cars by increasing the number of people cycling and travelling actively.

Why your views matter

The Department is interested in the views of members of the public, business owners and other interested parties regarding its draft policy proposal and would welcome written submissions. If you wish to submit your views on the proposal, you are invited to respond:

By email to: doiconsultation@gov.im

Or in writing to:

Oliver McGowan,
Research and Analysis Officer,
Highway Services Division,
Department of Infrastructure,
Sea Terminal,


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