Copenhagen, which had banned rented electric scooters, has lifted the restrictions on the controversial vehicles but with new rules limiting parking and use, city officials have said.

The vehicles have been banned in the Danish capital since October 2020.

"The first scooters are expected to hit the streets today. What's new is that they cannot be rented in the city centre and must be parked in dedicated areas at the end of the journey," the city's technical and environmental services said in a statement.

Renters can bring their scooters into the city centre and adjacent areas but will be charged for the entire time that the scooters are in the area.

Those who leave the scooters outside the 240 designated parking zones will be fined 338 Danish kroner (€45).

The use of electric scooters has been hotly debated in many large cities, with critics saying they are cluttering streets and can be dangerous at high speeds.

"In the past we have experience big problems with scooters, that were left all around the pavement and bike paths, making it difficult for Copenhageners to move around the city. The new rules should put an end to these problems," technical services manager Jesper Borch said in the statement.

According to estimates, 300 scooter-related accidents occurred in Copenhagen in 2019, and in Denmark helmets will be compulsory for drivers of electric scooters from January next year.

In Paris, the speed of electric scooters has been limited to 20 kilometres per hour.

Singapore has banned the use of them on pavements, following the lead of Germany and France.