A DISABLED man who has been using an e-scooter to help him get around for nearly two years was stunned to be charged with a series of offences for travelling at 4mph.

Chris Osborne, 43, was riding his e-scooter when he was stopped by a police officer, who charged him with using a motor vehicle on a pavement, and driving without a licence and insurance.

He bought the scooter for £400 18 months ago and it has given him a better quality of life since a medical condition – chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, which causes extreme fatigue and swelling in the legs – affects his mobility.

However, Mr Osborne was completely unaware he was breaking the law when he was stopped on July 11 in Morningside, Edinburgh.

Although it is legal to purchase an e-scooter, there was a blanket ban on using privately owned ones in public.

When he bought his Xiaomi M365 e-scooter, he was unaware of any ban, but they are now sold in Halfords with a warning that they can only be used on private property.

The law changed on July 4, meaning it is possible to use e-scooters in public if they are rented and while holding a provisional licence and insurance provided by the hire company.

But Mr Osborne said the situation was “peculiar” as the rules do not apply to e-bikes. He said that e-scooters should be incorporated into the Highway Code. “It is shocking,” he said.

“I have been using my e-scooter for 18 months and whenever I use it on the pavement it is when there is no-one else there.

“I understand the need for laws and categorisation of vehicles. But people with mobility issues rely on their scooters, and it seems a bit harsh to charge them for using them.

“I don’t think it’s fair that these scooters are being classed as motor vehicles, yet cycles go faster than them.”

He added: “The whole thing is peculiar. I have checked for insurance and not found anyone selling it for e-scooters, there has been no precedent for insuring an e-scooter. The only way you can get it is as part of a hire scheme.

“If you hire one you can use it on public roads, but they have had problems in California and Amsterdam where people leave them all over the place.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “While we had been consulted and responded on proposed changes, the sudden decision on the imminent introduction of e-scooters was taken by the UK Government alone and without informing the Scottish Government in advance.

“We note that as the popularity and prevalence of e-scooters and other forms of micro-mobility increases globally, roads authorities will be keen to understand trends across a range of issues, including the safety of both the user of the scooter and other road users.”