Are segway boards illegal in UK?

If you’re planning to spend some money on a segway board, you need to learn a few things. On the other hand, if you’ve already bought it, you still need to learn what the authorities are saying concerning your latest gadget acquisition.

The possible outcomes when you pop down the shops on a segway board?

In this case, there are many things that could happen. It all depends on the observational powers of the authorities in your area. And even though it’s not uncommon to come across such boards on the pathways, the crown prosecution service has declared that these boards are illegal.

Is this a new law anyway?

The UK Department for Transport has held on to this law for a long time now. Let’s take an example in the year 2011. A Barnsley man was fined £75 for riding his segway board on the pathways. According to judge Michael Rosenberg, segway boards were treated as motor vehicles, hence could not be allowed on the pathways.

The legal basis for banning segways on the foot paths

Whereas hover boards have only been around for a couple of years, they have since been banned under section 1835 of UK highway act. This act says that people cannot use the pathways to drive or lead horses, sheep, mule, ass, swine, cattle, or anything that qualifies under the category of carriage. However, this is applicable in England and Wales. Go to Scotland and you’ll find that they are using the modern version of the law (1984).

But if segways are considered cars, can they be used on the roads?

Again, the answer is no. You see, if you’re using a motor vehicle on a UK road, then it needs to be licensed and insured together with its driver. The vehicle must also be registered.

What’s more, for a vehicle to qualify under the category of those that are road-legal, its construction needs to meet a set number of criteria. Under the European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval, vehicles must be equipped with lights and other construction features that make them road-worthy. Hoverboards and segways don’t meet the rules and regulations as laid out by the ECWVTA.

So, if you can’t ride this thing anywhere, why are they are sold in the UK?

It’s quite disappointing to note that you will only be allowed to ride the thing on private property, not even in parks where many people are likely to gather to have fun. So if you don’t have a large, paved garden, you’re automatically out of luck.

But where do mobility vehicles and wheelchairs fall?

It’s easy to assume that mobility vehicles and wheelchairs belong to the segway boards class. However, the former is excused from the law that regulates their use on UK pathways. These are termed as ”class 2 invalid carriages” by DFT regulations. But in as much as wheelchairs and mobility vehicles are allowed to travel on the footpaths, they can only travel at a speed of 4mph.

On the other hand, class 3 types will either travel on the road or on the pavement and only maintain a maximum speed of 8mph. However, for them to qualify in the category of vehicles, they must be equipped with useful features like the rearview mirror, a horn, lights, indicators, and many more.


If you bought a segway board without reading these regulations, it’s unfortunate that you won’t use it with freedom as you had expected. And if, by any chance, you don’t have a paved garden, perhaps you might consider selling it because it’s of no use to you.

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