The increasingly popular e-scooters have been banned by two Devon and Cornwall railway operators in the last two weeks.

South Western Railway has announced that it will be joining Great Western Railway (GWR) in banning electric devices on all their trains.

GWR implemented a ban on electric scooters being permitted on their services nearly two weeks ago, with their ban coming into force on May 21.

South Western Railway, which operates services from Exeter St Davids to London Waterloo's ban came into force yesterday (June 1).

Both operators say that the reason for the ban is due to the fire risk posed by the lithium batteries inside.

A statement from GWR said: "Unlike other personal mobility devices such as e-bikes or mobility scooters, e-Scooters are not currently regulated, and are not required to meet minimum safety standards for vehicles."

Jane Lupson, SWR's head of safety, said: "Reports of incidents involving e-scooters catching fire on National Rail services or infrastructure are increasing and the potential risk that they pose is not acceptable to our customers and colleagues.

"After some consideration, and in line with other partners in the rail industry, we will be banning e-scooters on our trains and at our stations from Thursday 1 June.

"We understand that these devices are popular, but the safety of our customers and staff is our number one priority, so until greater regulation and testing can be brought in to ensure the safety of those travelling on trains, e-scooters will remain banned."

A spokesman for GWR said at the time of the ban: “From Sunday, May 21 customers will no longer be able to bring e-scooters onto GWR trains or stations. This follows a number of incidents on the UK rail and tube network where e scooters with lithium batteries have been associated with severe overheating, increasing the risk of fire.“If unchecked this carries particular risks in enclosed spaces on board trains. Unlike other personal mobility devices such as e bikes or mobility scooters, e scooters are not currently regulated, and are not required to meet minimum safety standards for vehicles.

“Customers bringing e scooters onto GWR trains or stations will be asked to leave. Unattended scooters will be treated as abandoned and will be safely disposed of.

“The new policy also applied to GWR staff and all GWR premises.”