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Gyrowheels and UK (EU) Law


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Or can I legally ride my wheelbarrow on the pavement?


In short, no, a pedestrian controlled vehicle should be controlled from the footway or road, however, there is no stipulation under law as to which limb you use to control the barrow. You are legally entitled to take your barrow form once place of use, to another, and to port goods between places with said barrow.


Sorry did I say wheelbarrow? As we all know (Ignorance is no defense under UK law), a scooter requires a vehicle license, a wheelbarrow does not, of course its a wheelbarrow, its only got one wheel and its clearly designed to take a payload (albeit two small equally weighed ones).


So for those of you who want to know more here's the legal deal...


This depends strongly on local law.

Traditionally this area of transport legislation has been neglected, avoided and generally told to go away by most western governments. The general rule is if it has a motor and some wheels and a seat, it is a vehicle and requires a vehicle licence and may require an operators licence (ie: a driving licence).

As these are vehicles and require licencing they need to be tested and test departments say they have no criteria to test against so they cant issue certificates, ie: no vehicle licence and so no using on public roads.

However as these vehicle not only persist, but multiply, the resistance shown toward Sir Clive's SX5 and the original Segways by governments has been chipped away at over the last decade.

Several US states now permit their use without licence, as do several European countries and Israel, though an operators licence may still be required.

European legislation is due to make these vehicles legal across the EU, but this has not happened yet (Jan 2016), and when it does, there will still be plenty of maneuvering room for local legislation, as in most districts it is the local council that has the last say on what gets banned from it's roads.

If your riding in the UK or Europe my advice would be to get some kind of public liability cover similar to what you would get to insure as a cyclist or motorist.

Want to know even more? (ie: the specific tenets under UK (and EU) law?

Extracted text from current (2014) UK and EU laws on the subject




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But reading through the EU laws on the subject that you have chosen to link to:

Article 2 Scope

39. This Regulation applies to the type-approval and individual approval of all new two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles

The number of wheels very specifically does not refer to unicycles!

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  • 1 month later...

I feel I should address ar6ee's remarks vis wheelbarrows. By definition a better legal defense is more true than a poorer legal defense. What is the truth? Which truth is the truest? and most importantly, do you want to be able to ride your gyrowheel around your local town or prefecture?


In this case, your legal position, the 'Truth' is defined by the law and its interpretation in spirit and in practice. This is not a debate about the philosophical nature of wheel barrow (for example some have 2 wheels), all that is necessary, under law, is to show that the vehicle is classifiable as a wheelbarrow.


PS. Google is neither the truth or the law, it is a search engine for facilitating the extraction of documents from the world wide web. The documents contain information, however this information is is disparate, ie: some is 'true', some is made up, some is misleading either by good or bad intention.


Consider the nature of electric wheelbarrow, 

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Note sections i & j of same


(i) self-balancing machines;

(j) vehicles not equipped with at least one seating position.


Article 1 anex 4 relating to the definition of such vehicles is not so specific vis the number of wheels.


None the less it is clear that under EU law from 2016 cogies/gyrowheels will not require a vehicle licence nor will they be classified as motor vehicles. You should still be aware that your local municipality or prefecture may legislate against their use in certain areas or under certain conditions.

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