John Stevenson, Member of Parliament for Carlisle is helping to raise awareness of the impact e-scooters have on people with sight loss, lobbying Government for amends to the upcoming Transport Bill.
Carlisle MP, John Stevenson, said: “Government has indicated that the upcoming Transport Bill will legalise private e-scooters for the first time in England, Scotland and Wales.
“I have therefore written to the Secretary of State, Anne-Marie Trevelyan asking Government to review the weight, speed and power of rental and privately owned e-scooters in the upcoming Transport Bill.
“Whilst there is undoubtedly a place for e-scooters in the future, it is hugely important that out streets are safe for everyone that uses them.”
Evidence presented by Guide Dogs has illustrated a rapid increase in the number of fast, heavy and almost-silent e-scooters on streets since the introduction of limited trial schemes in 2020.
Research has found that three quarters of people with sight loss who have encountered an e-scooter have already reported having a negative experience.
Chris Theobald, Senior Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager for Guide Dogs said: “Any new law on e-scooters must consider the impact they are already having on people with sight loss.
Half of people with sight loss who have encountered an e-scooter have changed their behaviour because of e-scooters, including not going to some parts of their town, changing their regular routes and shortening trips outside to reduce their risk of encountering e-scooters.
Theobald continued saying: “Pavements are for people but all too often, e-scooters are being illegally ridden on or abandoned on the pavement creating additional obstacles for people with sight loss.
“That is why we are asking for a ban on their use on the pavements, a strict cap on their weight, power and speed.
“There should also be mandatory docked parking for rental e-scooters and a coherent and consistent approach to police enforcement on anti-social e-scooter use.”
However, at the same time, it remains illegal to ride privately owned e-scooters on public land.
Due to widespread confusion about the law the majority of e-scooters on the streets are being used illegally, including on the pavement and at high speeds.