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.
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. 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.
Research has found that three quarters of people with sight loss who have encountered an e-scooter have already reported having a negative experience. 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.
John Stevenson, Member of Parliament for Carlisle 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.”
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.
“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.”