(Pocket-lint) - Government ministers in the UK are expected to begin consultation on legalising electric scooters in February, with the aim to start trials in cities after. 

If it's successful, it will see e-scooters become officially legal in the UK for the first time. 

Under the new laws, it's expected that the scooters will be subject to the same rules as cyclists. That means you'll be able to use one on the road or cycle path, once the regulations have been inked officially (presuming trials are successful). 

It's expected that manufacturers will also be required to equip scooters with a speed inhibitor, restricting speeds to 15.5mph.

If they do end up being in the same rules and regulations as bicycles, that will also likely mean riders will be expected to wear a helmet. 

As we've broken down already, electric scooters are currently illegal in the UK, because they're classified as a carriage - thanks to a 184-year-old law - and they're also not recognised as a road worthy by the DVLA. 

This means - as things stand - you can't ride one on the road, or on the pavement.

Travel to a major European city like Barcelona or Paris though, or even head on across the Atlantic to San Francisco, and you'll probably spot several people riding electric scooters

In crowded urban areas, the electric two-wheeled scooter has become a popular way to travel thanks to low costs, traffic avoidance and the launch of easy pickup and drop-off through popular rent-by-the-minute apps. 

Brands like Lime and Bird have made them extremely popular, although they're not without their controversy. 

Safety - of course - will be a major concern, especially in busy cities like London, and then there's the worry of 'littering'. Or, the act of just dumping your rented scooter any old place, blocking pavements. 

With uncertainty surrounding the future of ride-hailing services (specifically Uber) in London, congestion charges for drivers and the crowded Underground, the e-scooter could be seen as a convenient travel method in England's capital. Providing infrastructure and regulations are put in place to protect riders. 

Writing by Cam Bunton.