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Author Topic: E-scooter trials - but rental only. What do members think?  (Read 827 times)
grahame
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« on: July 02, 2020, 03:46:11 pm »

From Passenger Transport but widely covered elsewhere

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New regulations allowing trials of rental e-scooters will come into force this weekend, transport minister Rachel Maclean has announced.

The first trials are expected to begin next week. Local authorities and devolved administrations hosting the trials can allow or run the rental schemes in their areas, as outlined in accompanying guidance for areas and rental operators published this week.

The trials are designed to help understand whether the devices reduce motor traffic, as well as their impacts on safety for their users and others. Local residents will soon be able to use e-scooters on roads, cycle lanes and tracks, but they will be strictly prohibited on pavements. E-scooters will be limited to 15.5mph and riders are recommended to wear helmets.

Users will need a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence to take part in the trials, and must be 16 or over. To avoid a flood of poor-quality scooters onto the streets, the regulations only cover rental schemes. Individually owned scooters will still be illegal on public roads.

What do members think?

Would YOU try one? Use one regularly?

What do you make of the "rentals only" and other rules?

Should we have them under "Buses and other ways to travel" or "Active Travel"?

Where would the best rental site trials in our area be?

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rogerw
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 04:41:27 pm »

I have mixed feelings about this. If, a very big IF, they are confined to the carriageway, with penalty points for using on the footway, are covered by at least third party insurance and fitted with adequate warning devices I think it might work. But who is going to enforce all this?
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bobm
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2020, 07:45:45 pm »

I already see a fair few flying up and down the path beneath my office window.

Big question for me is how is anyone supposed to identify a (legal) rented one against an (illegal) private one?
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2020, 08:28:12 pm »

At face value, it seems like a missed opportunity. As bobm says, e-scooters, electric skateboards, electric monowheels and probably other things have been on the roads for a couple of years now, so to exclude those latter categories and restrict e-scooters to those hired, does nothing to regulate the vehicles already in use. The requirement for a driving licence is also perverse, prohibiting their use by those who would most benefit. However, if this is in fact to be a trial and will be followed by more comprehensive legislation, covering all sorts of "low-speed electric personal miniature vehicles" (my clumsy phrase in the absence of an official term), then it could work out okay.

The details of weight and power are odd though: 500W and 55kg. Compare that to an EAPC (electrically assisted pedal cycle or e-bike), 250W and (I think) 25kg. I can only presume the weight limit is so high to allow more batteries and therefore less frequent charging for the hire companies and the power limit perhaps to make them more appealing. It could lead to some interesting moments though on what's basically a motorised plank with tiny wheels, usually no pneumatic tyres and necessarily limited braking.  The speed restriction remains the same, 25km/h (15.5mph).

If it gets a few people out of cars, it's good.
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2020, 08:51:59 pm »

As with all vehicles - motorised or otherwise - acceptability depends on the awareness of the rider/driver. Used properly by an experienced rider, fully aware of the rules and regulations, I think they can be a good thing.

However, in the hands of the wrong person, they can be lethal. I have already witnessed two very close shaves...... one where an older teenager, riding on the pavement, failed to see a car coming out of a side turning and only narrowly avoided a collision; and a second, where an 'older city-gent-type' chap, riding on the road, went straight through a red light and only just avoided colliding with a car crossing their path.
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2020, 09:13:44 pm »

Big question for me is how is anyone supposed to identify a (legal) rented one against an (illegal) private one?

The legal ones have rental company livery and logo smartly applied.   If you look at the paintwork on the illegal ones, you'll find the lines are a bit wavy, the colours a bit out, and there's something wrong with the logo.
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broadgage
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2020, 10:41:24 pm »

E-scooters should in my view be encouraged in view of the reduced pollution and congestion compared to cars.

I would subject them to the same limitations on speed, weight, and power output as are applied to electrically assisted cycles. And in general subject to the same rules.
The adoption of electric cycles has NOT led to widespread loss of life or other mayhem, and E-scooters could therefore be treated similarly.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
grahame
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2020, 05:38:30 am »

E-scooters should in my view be encouraged in view of the reduced pollution and congestion compared to cars.

I would subject them to the same limitations on speed, weight, and power output as are applied to electrically assisted cycles. And in general subject to the same rules.
The adoption of electric cycles has NOT led to widespread loss of life or other mayhem, and E-scooters could therefore be treated similarly.

I have "like"d that ... and indeed I am repeating it to confirm that like.

It makes sense to have low powered / speed electric assistance for the "final mile" and much of the objection relates to the infrastructure, safety and regulation issues - all important but all which should be overcome in something that is inherently a way forward.

We already have mobility chairs, and electric cycles.  Logical to go forward with electric scooters, segways, etc - power assisted local vehicles that can displace larger (and still often fossil fuelled) vehicles on short local runs for single people - runs to the the shops for individual item purchases / small shops, runs to services and social trips, and runs to public transport hubs.

I too have misgivings - seeing mobility chairs making their way up Spa Road way in excess of 4 m.p.h., many good drivers but also the aggressive and less safety aware pensioner drivers who act as is they own the pavement.  We have reports from time to time of cyclists who act as if they own infrastructure too, and at times we seem to be trying to fit a quart into a pint pot.

I asked earlier "where should the early hire places be?".  I am away of a shop (it's physically a shop premises) just a few yards up the road from WEYMOUTH station towards the sea front that hires out mobility chairs by the day - enabling people arriving on day trips to get around the sea front, the town, and perhaps down to the harbour and even a little beyond.   Perhaps a different market, though a pointer?   The seafront at Weymouth hosts a wider variety of travel modes on the road and wide esplanade ... heck, there's even a land train.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2020, 06:53:28 am »

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The seafront at Weymouth hosts a wider variety of travel modes on the road and wide esplanade
But in the case of Weymouth, fairly large areas of prohibition of bicycles. So will bikes be prohibited but e-scooters acceptable?
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2020, 06:55:37 am »

As long as they stay off the pavement and observe the same rules of the road that all others are expected to I can't see an objection, although no doubt a few careless souls will keep the hospitals and undertakers busy via natural selection.
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grahame
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2020, 08:34:37 am »

From https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-53272688

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The first trial of an e-scooter rental scheme in the UK will be held in the North East, a mayor has announced.

One hundred scooters will be available for rent in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool later in July, Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said.

The pilot will start after the government agreed to legalise rental e-scooters on roads.

They will also be allowed on cycle lanes, for riders over 16 who have at least a provisional driving licence.

The scooters will be provided by Ginger, and riders will have to leave the battery-powered vehicle in certain locations for charging.
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2020, 08:38:47 am »

In Central London, the TfL bikes are a common sight. Also now increasingly common to see are the dockless hire bikes from other companies scattered inconsiderately along the pavement. I presume e-scooters will need to be docked so they can be charged otherwise they would join this clutter.

My other concern is potholes. Won't the scooters smaller wheels make the riders more vulnerable to accidents than other road users?
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2020, 08:57:06 am »

I will be sticking with my pedal cycle; I am unconvinced that allowing eScooters to use cycle paths/lanes - given the potential speed differential - is a good idea. Also does the ban on eScooters using pavements extend to footways which have been changed into shared pedestrian/cycle facilities?
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eightf48544
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2020, 09:24:21 am »


 Local residents will soon be able to use e-scooters on roads, cycle lanes and tracks, but they will be strictly prohibited on pavements. E-scooters will be limited to 15.5mph and riders are recommended to wear helmets.

Users will need a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence to take part in the trials, and must be 16 or over. To avoid a flood of poor-quality scooters onto the streets, the regulations only cover rental schemes. Individually owned scooters will still be illegal on public roads.


I think 15.5 mph is too fast. But the most important thing to me is how are these rules to enforced? We already have bikes, on pavements and in pedestrian only areas. Without much regulation. Add in mobility scooters and the poor pedestrian doesn't stand a chance.

« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 02:38:08 pm by Red Squirrel » Logged
stuving
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2020, 09:29:08 am »

My other concern is potholes. Won't the scooters smaller wheels make the riders more vulnerable to accidents than other road users?

There's a way round that problem - at least in Plymouth. AKA foot bikes - but mainly for sports use, and I don't think the big hirers do anything similar.
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