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E-scooters on trains & stations - important information

E-scooters are not permitted on Northern trains or within Northern stations.

This is due to the fire safety threat scooters powered by lithium-ion batteries pose. 

The ban of e-scooters for travel on Northern trains (and across most train operators) is in due to concerns regarding fire risks of the batteries in the device.  

What scooters or powered transport is allowed on board?

  • Non-electric scooters
  • Mobility scooters/aids - These must comply with our mobility scooter guidance.
  • Electric bikes - However they must not be charged on board

Please note that petrol scooters and mopeds are NOT permitted on board. This is due to the safety risk of carrying petrol on board trains.

Other Personal Mobility Transport (PMT) such as hoverboards and e-skateboards are also not permitted on Northern trains.

Why are you doing this?

Safety is our number one priority, so we (and many other train operators) believe e-scooters, and other PMT such as hoverboards, pose a relevant fire risk due to potential ‘thermal runaway’ of the battery.

Recent incidents associated with faulty, or unregulated, lithium batteries show the risk these batteries pose of catching fire, after severe overheating.

Once the thermal runaway reaction has started there is no way of stopping it or extinguishing the fire until the reaction has finished. A large amount of potentially toxic smoke is emitted and jets of flame are often produced.

The result of such a malfunction on board a train could cause serious harm to passengers and staff.

 

Under what condition is this enforceable?

Paragraph 23.5 of the National Rail Conditions of Travel stipulates e-scooters as an item only permitted by the discretion of individual railway companies and as such gives Northern the right to refuse to carry them.

The Railway Byelaws contain several provisions which may be used to enforce this requirement if necessary.

 

Does this apply to mobility scooters?

No. Mobility scooters are still welcome on board all our trains, please see our dedicated mobility scooter page for details.

 

Can I take an e-bike on board?

Yes, you can bring an e-bike (EPAC standard) on board the train as long as it is not charging.

This is because EPAC standard e-bikes are legal to use in the UK and have to meet a minimum legal standard compared to e-scooters. Details about what qualifies as an EPAC can be found on the government website.

Can you stop me from travelling if I insist on carrying my e-scooter on board?
You may not enter a Northern station or travel on a Northern service with an e-scooter. If you arrive at a station with one, we will ask you to return without your e-scooter and we will work to get you on an alternative service.

 

My scooter is CE / UKCA approved – why can’t I bring it on board?

From a safety point of view, we are unable to check all e-scooters or PMT so for consistency a blanket ban will be in place.

The current industry information is that most privately owned e-scooters are not approved for use in the UK as they are not legal for use anywhere other than private property.

We will continue to review this policy as and when we obtain further information from the industry.

 

Can I leave my e-scooter at a station?

No, e-scooters may not be stored on Northern station premises and will not be accepted as lost property at a Northern location.

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