Written evidence submitted by the Alliance of British Drivers
It’s clear that the Committee has a good grasp of the concerns and implications for e-scooters.
It’s important to learn from the experiences of other countries/cities that have legalised e-scooters, such as Paris, where the situation was described as ‘anarchy’:
Independent: ‘Anarchy in the streets’: Electric scooter accidents plague Paris as residents demand police crackdown:
The main concerns revolve around the safety of the rider and pedestrians. E-scooters should not be allowed on pavements, but it is inevitable that they will be used on pavements, putting riders and pedestrians at risk. Even if they are limited to 15.5mph, that still poses a potentially significant risk to both riders and pedestrians. Any e-scooter capable of more than 15.5mph should be classed as a motor vehicle.
There’s a concern over safety on poor road surfaces – scooters have very small wheels and even putting a wheel down a relatively small pothole could throw the rider off the scooter.
There are also doubts about e-scooters reducing CO2 emissions due to their ‘life cycle emissions’ and the fact that they are more likely to replace walking or cycling than car use. An e-scooter can’t be considered as being ‘active travel’ as, unlike a e-bike, no pedalling is required.
E-scooters are not as climate-friendly as they seem:
Environmental Research Letters: Are e-scooters polluters? The environmental impacts of shared dockless electric scooters:
The committee should consider mandatory protective equipment such as helmets and clearly there is a need for regulation if e-scooters are to be used on pavements and roads. I see no reason why e-scooters shouldn’t use cycle lanes. A cautious approach is needed as e-scooters could be dubbed ‘A&E-scooters’ if ‘anarchy’ is allowed as happened in Paris.