Police chief calls for a halt to e-scooter trials

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E-scooter pilot schemes are currently being rolled out in many towns and cities, including Canterbury and London, but PCC Matthew Scott says they should be halted and reviewed before more people are hurt.

The use of the scooters has been ruled out by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council [TWBC] following a councillor’s ‘fact-finding mission’ to an e-scooter trial in Milton Keynes.

Cllr Matt Bailey, portfolio holder for sustainability at TWBC, said after his visit the Council decided e-scooters would not be appropriate in Tunbridge Wells until there were more cycle lanes to ensure they could be used safely and responsibly.

However, e-scooters are becoming popular, and there are currently about 50 Government-backed trials running in towns and cities across the UK. 

The devices are seen as an eco-friendly way of getting around and have been promoted by the Government as part of the ‘green restart of local transport’ scheme.

Mr Scott says there are more than 7,500 rental scooters in use, and since their introduction more than 800 incidents have been reported to local authorities and 122 users have been banned from using them.

Figures suggest there have been more than 200 injuries and over 1,000 complaints since the pilots began.

Outside these schemes, it is still illegal to use e-scooters on the roads or pavements, and their use can carry a £300 fine and six penalty points. It’s also an offence to use them at all if you’re under 18.

Despite this, sales have grown, and Mr Scott says they are being used by children and adults alike.

He said: “Inconsiderate riders are becoming a menace on our roads and pavements, ignoring the law and causing dangers for other road users.

“We urgently need decisive action now on their future as we’re in danger of losing control of the issue and placing additional burdens on policing. 

“Too many people are using them in places they shouldn’t and we need to stop them being bought for young people.

“There should be no more roll outs until work is done with retailers, manufacturers and the public to make sure they are safe and people understand the law.”

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