Get us in your inbox


Everyone's angry about... Hoverboards

Isabelle Aron

We unpick the issues that have got Londoners all riled up. This week, it's those pesky Segway-style 'hoverboards'.

So, what's the story?

You know those weird self-balancing electric scooters that hordes of lazy Londoners have been gliding around on? The ones that people insist on referring to as 'hoverboards' even though they lack any kind of levitating functionality? Well, it turns out they're illegal on London's streets, as the Metropolitan Police recently pointed out on Twitter.

Hold up - hoverboards? Like the ones out of 'Back to the Future'?

Not quite. Although the London Fire Brigade did issue a warning on 'Back to the Future Day' after some unattended scooters left on charge caused a spate of hoverboard-related explosions. But apart from occasional spontaneous combustion, the real problem is that the Segway-style scooters are classed as 'unlicensed vehicles', which means they can't be used on London's roads or pavements. In fact, the only place you can legally ride these bad boys is on private land with the landowner's permission, which somewhat limits your hoverboarding opportunities unless you fancy whiling away the hours going round in circles in your mum's garden.

And does anyone actually care?

Surprisingly, yes. After the Met's tweet, a series of online petitions surfaced calling for the scooters to be legalised. And they aren't the only ones who are up in arms about it. Tireless supporter of twowheeled vehicles Boris Johnson says he wants to make them legal. Why? Because of 'intergenerational fairness', obviously. He's comparing mobility scooters to hoverboards because they're basically the same thing, right? Or in his words: 'If the oldsters can charge towards you on their terrifying chariots, the youngsters should be able to waft on their boards.' You tell 'em, Boris. Those reckless OAPs larking around in their fearsome chariots have been wreaking havoc on our streets for far too long.

Read more about Boris Johnson's plans to legalise 'hoverboards'.

Or find out why everyone's angry about the Jack the Ripper museum.

Image: Ben Larcey/

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news

      Read next