E-scooter trial halted after users seen mounting pavements and entering shopping centres

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·2 mins read
Cllr Pete Marland, leader of Milton Keynes Council and Florence Milner, general manager UK and Ireland Lime, as Lime launches the UK's first, full-scale e-scooter service in Milton Keynes. (PA)
Cllr Pete Marland, leader of Milton Keynes Council and Florence Milner, general manager UK and Ireland Lime, as Lime launches the UK's first, full-scale e-scooter service in Milton Keynes. (PA)

Coventry has suspended an e-scooter trial over safety concerns just days after it launched.

The government decided to legalise e-scooters in June in the wake of new public transport rules that came in following the coronavirus pandemic.

A year-long trial of e-scooters was introduced just five days ago in Coventry – but a wave of safety concerns have prompted the city to think again.

The West Midlands city is just one of five towns or cities to introduce the technology so far, although dozens more were expected to follow.

According to The Times, users have been spotted mounting the pavements and using the devices in shopping centres, which are both not allowed.

A group of parked e-scooters as Lime launches the UK's first, full-scale e-scooter service in Milton Keynes. (PA)
A group of parked e-scooters as Lime launches the UK's first, full-scale e-scooter service in Milton Keynes. (PA)

One person wrote on the Coventry Live Facebook page that she was nearly “knocked over by about four of these in the space of five minutes on Friday night”.

Another added: “I was nearly ran over twice today as people on scooters are using pedestrianised areas and being reckless.”

Coventry City Council, which “paused” the scheme on Monday, said that they would now review it to find “ways in which it can recommence in an appropriate manner”.

Watch: Is this the safest e-scooter in the world?

A spokesman said: “The initial take-up has been encouraging but we need to ensure that the safety of all people using the city centre is protected and that the e-scooters are used in the proper way, hence our decision to pause the pilot until systems are improved.”

E-scooters have a speed limit of 15.5mph but can only be used on 30mph roads and in designated bike lanes.

Anyone using them must be at least 16 and can only hire them from designated rental companies.

Some residents in Coventry spoke of their experiences of e-scooters so far. (Facebook)
Some residents in Coventry spoke of their experiences of e-scooters so far. (Facebook)

Some 5,000 rides on the scooters, operated by the Swedish firm Voi, were taken in Coventry in the first few days of the scheme.

A spokesman for Voi said: “While we regret the pause to our service, we reiterate our desire and willingness to work with all local stakeholders to deliver a safe and successful trial that meets the council's objectives and confirms micro-mobility as a sustainable, safe and attractive mode for Coventry’s citizens.”

The government brought forward e-scooter trials this year as a possible solution to getting people back to work without using public transport following the introduction of social distancing rules.

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