UK’s first e-scooter trial scaled back amid widespread misuse – including underage riders zipping through shopping centres

PP100

Pedelecer
Feb 28, 2020
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Well , what a surprise (not)
I've posted the full report cause The Independent website is full of pop ups (even with an add blocker I have to turn off JavaScript to read anything)

UK’s first e-scooter trial scaled back amid widespread misuse – including underage riders zipping through shopping centres
When the UK’s first ever e-scooter pilot scheme was launched in Middlesbrough last month, bosses told The Independent they hoped there would be 10,000 of the vehicles on UK roads by next summer.
That figure, it seems, may have been optimistic.
A second pilot launch in neighbouring northeast town Hartlepool has had to be abandoned amid widespread misuse of the first 50 hire vehicles in Middlesbrough.

Mounting complaints include two teenagers taking them for a spin down the 70mph A19 and underage users zipping through the northeast town’s three shopping malls.
A spokesperson the Dundas Shopping Centre, one of the malls, said there had been “near-misses” involving elderly customers.
A staff member at a second, the Cleveland Centre, told the website Teesside Live: “We have got specific signs up but the scooters come in and fly around all over – it’s crazy.”
Legislation permitting the vehicles – which can reach speeds of 12mph – was rushed through parliament by government ministers last month in an apparent bid to get more people off buses in an age of climate change and coronavirus.
Middlesbrough was chosen for the country’s first trial after Ben Houchen, the Conservative mayor of the Tees Valley, pushed to have the scheme piloted on his patch.
The aim was to start with 50 vehicles in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool before building up to as many as 1,000 across the entire area, which includes Redcar, Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington.
But after plans for Hartlepool’s launch were quietly dropped, the town’s MP Mike Hill labelled the vehicles as “useful as a chocolate fireguard”.
Speaking to The Independent, he said: “Using scooters to get people off buses as a way of beating either climate change or coronavirus is farcical. It is fiddling while Rome burns. Whatever the question, e-scooters in Hartlepool are not the answer.”
Ginger, the company behind the scheme, said it was still planning to introduce the vehicles into the town at some point in the future but could not give a date.
It refused to say why the initial 15 July launch date had been cancelled.
In a statement, Paul Hodgins, the company’s chief executive and a former Conservative council leader, said: “We’ve naturally evaluated the project since its very successful launch and made further modifications we believe will improve rider and community experience ahead of our planned roll-out to other areas.”
 

oyster

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Nov 7, 2017
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Classic.

If underage users are gaining access, how is that happening? If driving licence holders are hiring then letting underage users use them, they should lose their licences. If it is not that, then the operator must be incompetent.
 

Wicky

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Feb 12, 2014
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Crazy - probably not hire bikes , likely individually owned but I've seen riders using them locally more in recent months inc. down the centre line of roads, out at night with no lights and even two up.

Tricky to put the lid on em with their widespread availaibity and usage - still they came down hard on mini-bikes after a few accidents.
 

oyster

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2017
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West West Wales
Crazy - probably not hire bikes , likely individually owned but I've seen riders using them locally more in recent months inc. down the centre line of roads, out at night with no lights and even two up.

Tricky to put the lid on em with their widespread availaibity and usage - still they came down hard on mini-bikes after a few accidents.
Sensible point but if it isn't on hire scooters, the story is grossly misleading.
 

oyster

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Nov 7, 2017
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It's worse around here. They even have electric water scooters capable of 25 mph.
Looks like it could be fun - albeit with obvious reservations. (Which obviously means that I should be allowed to play with one whenever I want but nobody else can.)

Yesterday I was on the coast and being bothered by some sort of petrol engine - couldn't see anything on the water or in the air. Just that buzzing that could be a hang-glider. Maybe those electric water scooters are a bit quieter?
 

PP100

Pedelecer
Feb 28, 2020
177
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Yes, it's the sales for illegal use, they are everywhere.

Worse still it's major supposedly responsible companies like Halfords who are selling them, a large range from 8 different brands:

Halfords range of e-scooters
.
I agree it is irresponsible , and for new e transport tech, e scooters are "cool" for the Kids in the way that hire bikes (even the electric ones ) are not. But also much cheaper to buy compared to most E bikes.
 
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RoadieRoger

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Nov 8, 2010
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Mistake to only allow hired E Scooters . If people own something they will generally look after it . I see youngsters in my area riding them and they act responsibly . Through the actions of a few idiots the trial will be tarnished . Better to show some committment and make them legal without phaffing about , otherwise the Nanny State rules , just like with the current food nonsense .
 

GSV3MiaC

Pedelecer
Jun 6, 2020
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It is really weird that you are allowed to hire/use something you can't own (at least not own and use). The legislation looks like something rolled out on a Friday night when everyone just wanted to be down the pub.. Or maybe it was after they had been?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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It is really weird that you are allowed to hire/use something you can't own (at least not own and use). The legislation looks like something rolled out on a Friday night when everyone just wanted to be down the pub.. Or maybe it was after they had been?
I think the problem is allowing a trial of something already illegal but only for hire, though widely done anyway with owned ones, confusing for everyone.

The illegally being done is already a de facto trial of owned e-scooters.
.
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
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I think the problem is allowing a trial of something already illegal but only for hire, though widely done anyway with owned ones, confusing for everyone.

The illegally being done is already a de facto trial of owned e-scooters.
.
If there's one thing this government excels in it's confusion.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,166
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If there's one thing this government excels init's confusion.
Something I came across yesterday amused me. Boris Johnson visiting Scotland in a "union boosting" visit was entering a port there by boat.

It was flying its Union Jack upside down, an internationally recognised signal of distress. :D
.
 
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