Letter: Against the e-scooter pilot scheme
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E-Scooters are a plague on our pavements
Julia Matheson, Clapton, writes:
On June 7 three electric scooter rental companies unleashed over 6,000 e-scooters on to the streets of six London boroughs under a Transport for London “pilot scheme”.
Is it any wonder that London pedestrians such as myself view this development with alarm as transport bosses seem intent on moving ever closer to legalising what one Liverpool councillor has called “death traps”.
Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens of the Metropolitan Police has been quoted as condemning e-scooters as “notoriously dangerous” and The National Federation of the Blind has written to the Department for Transport warning that e-scooters contribute to a “dangerous, frightening, intimidating and hostile” urban environment for blind and partially-sighted people.
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How can parents of young children feel anything but fearful when they read in the press that a three-year-old boy in Feltham was seriously injured when he was hit from behind by an e-scooter rider while walking on a footpath with his grandmother.
Who would believe that under UK law it is illegal for privately-owned electric scooters to be driven on public roads when every day pedestrians encounter e-scooter riders flouting the law by travelling at speed on pavements, most of them not old enough to possess a full or provisional driving licence and some as young as 11 or 12.
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Although the law is clear that riders of private e-scooters on public roads can be fined up to £300 and their scooter impounded, I have seen no evidence of any enforcement. While the Mayor of London’s walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman pays lip service to walking as “a cleaner, greener and healthier way of getting around”, the situation in London’s streets has become a free-for-all, with the safety of pedestrians being given the lowest priority. In common with many parents of young children and blind, disabled, elderly and vulnerable people, I don’t feel safe walking in London any more.
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