ALMOST 50 e-scooters were seized in a 12 month period, according to figures from Gwent Police.

Gwent Police confiscated 48 e-scooters in the year leading to July 1, 2021, according to figures released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Of these, 13 were seized in May, 10 in April, and nine in August last year.

Free Press Series: The number of e-scooters seized by Gwent Police between July 2020 and June 2021.The number of e-scooters seized by Gwent Police between July 2020 and June 2021.

Gwent Police has issued advice on riding e-scooters, which reads: “If you are using an e-scooter in public in an anti-social manner, you can also risk the e-scooter being seized under section 59 of the Police Reform Act.”

But what are the rules around riding e-scooters?

Currently, e-scooters must only be used on private land, meaning that using one on a public road, cycle lane or pavement is illegal.

The only e-scooters that can be used legally on public roads are those that are rented as part of government-backed trials.

There are 32 government backed e-scooter trials in the UK, all of which are in England.

What the Gwent authorities have said about trialling e-scooters:

A Torfaen council spokeswoman said that the downsides of e-scooters “far outweighs the upside at present.”

“From a Highways, Active Travel and Road Safety viewpoint, we would like to investigate the possibility of investing in e-bikes when priorities and time permit us to do so,” she said.

“There are no plans at all to participate in e-scooter trials in Torfaen at the present time. Currently, the general position in Wales on e-scooters is aligned to the widely held road safety view that these represent a high level of risk of injury to users themselves and to pedestrians. Disability groups, particular those representing the elderly, infirm and blind/partially sighted are very anti e-scooters.

“The downside of e-scooters far outweighs the upside at present when considered across the whole population in the community (not just the scooter users themselves) but we will keep a watching brief as the technology and regulation continues to develop.”

A Monmouthshire council spokesperson said: “Monmouthshire County Council remains committed to providing an integrated network of active travel routes that enable residents to make journeys of a shorter distance via active modes.

“At this stage e-bikes, as opposed to e-scooters, are seen as a higher priority here in Monmouthshire. 

“Throughout Monmouthshire, cycling remains a priority both from an Active Travel and Leisure perspective, the development of a more integrated network will support both of these aspects. 

“We will continue to monitor usage of e-scooters through UK wide pilot projects and review when required, following continued advice from lead organisations around safety and impact of e-scooters for future use.”

A Newport council spokeswoman said the council had no current plans to join the UK-wide trial, while a Caerphilly council spokesman confirmed only that the council were not currently involved in the trial.

Blaenau Gwent council was contacted for comment.