Slough resident calls for halt to e-scooter trials due to safety concerns

James Bagley, Local Democracy Reporter

Council’s social care workers offered free monthly passes for Slough’s e-scooters

Rental e-scooters in Slough

Health and safety concerns over e-scooters have prompted a Slough resident to start a national petition calling for the Government to stop all trials.

Jaspal Dhariwal of College Avenue has put an e-petition on the Government website, urging the Department for Transport (DfT) to consider ‘revoking’ its support for the e-scooter scheme across the country.

The Government granted approval to multiple towns and cities - including Slough – to take part in a year-long e-scooter rental scheme (which started last October), in a bid to promote and encourage greener travel.

While it is illegal to ride a privately owned e-scooter, it is legal to rent an e-scooter from a local authority as long as the rider is 18 or over, has a provisional or full driver’s license and rides it in the permitted areas, only on roads.

Since the trial began, citizens across England have voiced their concerns on the e-scooters’ safety, reporting ‘dangerous’ riding both on the road and pavement, damage to property and vehicles and selfish parking on the pavement.

Mr Dhariwal said he has been complaining to Slough Borough Council about the safety of the rental scheme for months and has demanded it installs in-street bay parking.

He said the the e-scooters can be seen parked on the pavement, blocking pedestrians from passing through and causing them to walk on the road.

The petition states: “The Government should revoke its support for local e-scooter trials as I have health and safety concerns regarding such scooters being illegally ridden on pavements.

“The Department (for) Transport initiated this scheme and should revoke its support and ensure any current trials are stopped.”

In a joint statement with Slough Borough Council, a spokesperson for Neuron Mobility, which supplies the borough with the orange e-scooters, said ‘a vast majority’ of the riders have been riding in a safe and responsible manner.

Neuron said that while bad parking and riding cannot be eliminated entirely, it has implemented measures to reduce bad behaviour and make the e-scooters as safe as possible for both users and pedestrians.

One of these includes adding no-go zones, no-parking zones and GPS trackers so that employees can pick up the e-scooter if it has been ditched in an unauthorised area.

Neuron added that members of the public can report any issues with riding and parking by contacting Neuron’s Customer Support team, via the Neuron app or by phone and email.

The details can be found on Neuron’s website and on the e-scooters themselves.

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