‘Terrifying’ use of e-scooters ‘creating unsafe environments’

11.30 | 15 October 2020 | | 7 comments

Image: NFBUK

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.

Image: NFBUK

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.



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    Hi All as part of http://www.zywpeit.com Team I live in Spain: E Scooters have freedom of the road and pavement! The school children from 12 to 16 years of age at 1600 hours circa local time riding on pavements, Also up one way streets, They are a menace and a danger to themselves + The public,be it car drivers or the walking/shoppers, We can also see the Take-away Food divisions are using e scooters! Ban Them if you wish to save lives or insist Helmets, And obey the rules of the road/
    NOT the PAVEMENTS if made lawful
    http://www.zywpeit.com can register their movements 24/7 ! Peter Whapshott (ps I know the times as walking to the bar if open !)

    peter whapshott, slough
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    > They are so silent and travel at quite a speed

    So are bicycles – in fact, I’m more likely to hear the whirr of a motor over a properly maintained set of gearing for a bicycles. Or, if people are to use the bell correctly, a bell.

    > ridden […] without care for other users

    Again, bicycles. There are an ever growing amount of e-scooters running around my part of Newcastle and they’re usually ridden responsibly.

    Since the pandemic began, I’ve been nearly knocked over a few times by cyclists, and zero times by e-scooter users.

    Shall we bury the hatchet and just ban anything that doesn’t need a test/licence to operate, such as a bicycle? Or am I in the wrong for pointing out the sheer hypocrisy of proponents of active travel supporting a lump of metal with wheels, but shunning a lighter lump of metal (or plastic) with smaller wheels?

    David Weston, Newcastle upon Tyne
    Agree (3) | Disagree (10)

    I absolutely agree with this. All escooters should be banned. There is no trial in Luton but many privately owned escooters. On a recent visit to the town centre I witnessed these machines being ridden in the pedestrianised area and without care for other users. One nearly collided with me as I walked across George Street. They are so silent and travel at quite a speed. The government need to rethink the promotion of this mode of transport for many reasons.

    Alan Collons, Luton
    Agree (13) | Disagree (2)

    Agree with Christina Liverpool
    Richard Walker

    RICHARD Thorp WALKER, London
    Agree (6) | Disagree (1)

    Disagree with Keith Wheeler
    Richard Walker

    RICHARD Thorp WALKER, London
    Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

    Given that the trials of these scooters are currently in limited areas, the charity’s use of words like ‘terrifying’ is not helpful.

    Keith Wheeler, Aylesbury
    Agree (5) | Disagree (17)

    These terryfiying and uncontrolable vehicles are being unleashed in numerous other places too. In Liverpool one was filmed going illegally through the Merseytunnel at great danger of causing an accident. Also Liverpool has allowed them to mingle with pedestrians in the city centre in a “shared space”. I have also seen one going so fast along a road it was overtaking cars. Elderly and disabled people are becoming increasingly scared to walk along the pavements with e-scooters now adding to the problem of pavement cyclists.

    Christina, Liverpool
    Agree (21) | Disagree (4)

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