Today in Parliament, I led a debate on the anti-social use of e-scooters; the first time the topic of e-scooters has been debated in the House of Commons.
Speaking on behalf of constituents and local councillors who have been in touch I shared how local residents feel intimidated and annoyed – not least because the use of e-scooters on roads, pavements and cycle lanes is illegal everywhere in Wales.
Having received a lot of feedback from constituents sharing their experiences of e-scooters, I shared some comments with the Chamber.
One constituent has told me “they are dangerous, they are on the pavements, and as someone who has a mobility problem, I have a problem getting out of the way quickly enough. I am worried that I will get knocked down.” Another resident told me how they make them anxious, saying; “they weave in and out of traffic and scare me to death as they just suddenly appear!”
And, as another constituent told me: “As someone who is hard of hearing with no directional hearing – I don’t hear them”, adding that “they are a menace when ridden on pavements”.”
The debate comes the day after Mark Harper MP, the Transport Secretary effectively binned the much-anticipated Transport Bill, which would put paid to the measures for e-scooters that the UK Government promised they would bring forward in the Queen’s Speech in May this year.
The lack of regulation and control over the sales of untested and potentially unsafe privately-owned e-scooters is a real problem. The UK is falling years behind other countries in terms of its lack of regulation on e-scooters, as well as on issues like pavement parking.
In its 2020 inquiry, the Transport Select Committee said that the government should be “developing and implementing a sensible and proportionate regulatory framework for legal e-scooter use, drawing on lessons from other countries, which ensures that potential negative impacts on pedestrians and disabled people are avoided.” That’s still something that hasn’t happened, and which needs to happen now.
The Minister responding to me was unable to provide any answers or further clarity on when regulations would be updated.
You can see the whole speech via the clip below, or you can read it in full here.