A charity which represents blind and visually impaired people is calling for the trials of rental e-scooters to be ‘halted with immediate effect’.
The National Federation of the Blind UK (NFBUK) has long campaigned against the legalisation of e-scooters, and now says evidence shows they are creating unsafe environments for the most vulnerable road users.
The NFBUK has been observing e-scooter riders in a number of locations, and says many are not complying with the DfT guidance for the trials, undertaking ‘dangerous and unsafe activities’.
This includes the use of e-scooters on pavements, which is prohibited.
The charity adds it is has witnessed riders using e-scooters in an ‘antisocial and dangerous’ manner – including instances with two people riding an e-scooter at the same time.
It has also warned of the ‘dangerous dumping’ of e-scooters – which is causing obstructions on the pavement.
Sarah Gayton, shared space coordinator, NFBUK, said: “The NFBUK recommends that the rentable e-scooter trials are halted with immediate effect and no more are started.
“The observations of the rider behaviours witnessed in the Coventry, Birmingham, Milton Keynes and Northampton trials is terrifying, with reckless and dangerous riding being continually witnessed, during 16 site visits.
“The dockless model of rentable scooters is creating serious and dangerous obstructions and trip hazards in the urban environment.”
Currently, privately-owned e-scooters are banned to use in the UK anywhere except on private land.
Trials of rental e-scooters were legalised earlier this year, and have been launched in cities across the country.
Earlier this month, the Transport Committee backed the legalisation of e-scooters, saying they have the potential to offer a ‘low cost, accessible and environmentally friendly alternative’ to the private car.
However, the Committee stresses any plans for legalisation should not be to the detriment of pedestrians, particularly disabled people.