South Western Railway to ban e-scooters from its trains and stations from Thursday 1 June

Tuesday 23rd May 2023
  • Devices to be banned from all South Western Railway stations and trains from Thursday 1 June
  • Ban also covers e-unicycles, e-skateboards and hoverboards
  • New rule bought in due to safety concerns around batteries

South Western Railway (SWR) will introduce a ban on e-scooters across its stations and trains on Thursday 1 June.

The new rule, which will follow similar bans at other train operators, has been introduced as e-scooters pose a fire risk due to the potential of their lithium-ion batteries overheating.

While the chances of a fire are small, there have been recent incidents of e-scooters catching fire on other forms of public transport.

In addition to the ban of e-scooters, SWR has confirmed that customers will not be permitted to charge the devices at their stations or on their trains, and that they will not be accepted as lost property.

The ban also covers e-unicycles, e-skateboards and hoverboards. Electric wheelchairs and e-bikes are exempt from the ban*, as are mobility scooters for those with accessibility needs. Customers are advised to check with staff if they are unsure.

Jane Lupson, SWR’s Safety and Security Director, said:

“Reports of incidents involving e-scooters catching fire on National Rail services or infrastructure are increasing and the potential risk that they pose is not acceptable to our customers and colleagues.

“After some consideration, and in line with other partners in the rail industry, we will be banning e-scooters on our trains and at our stations from Thursday 1 June.

“We understand that these devices are popular, but the safety of our customers and staff is our number one priority, so until greater regulation and testing can be brought in to ensure the safety of those travelling on trains, e-scooters will remain banned.”

*E-bikes are not covered by the ban and are allowed at SWR stations and on SWR trains because they are legal to use in the UK and are regulated to a legal minimum Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) standard. E-scooters are not subject to the same regulation, which makes them a higher, unregulated risk. You can find out more about EAPC here.

Non-electric scooters are allowed on trains as before, as are powered mobility scooters/aids which comply with our mobility scooter guidance (more information can be found on our wheelchairs, scooters and ramps page here).  However, petrol scooters and mopeds are still not allowed due to the fire risk associated with petrol.