Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I was tempted to get one of these until I looked at the Laws governing their use, although I don't see much evidence of it being enforced.

From the TFL website:

Electric scooters and powered transporters

It is illegal to use electric scooters (e-scooters) and powered transporters on public roads and pavements in London. This includes cycle routes and pedestrian-only areas.

The Department for Transport decides which vehicles are legal to use, and it is currently illegal to use electric scooters and other powered transporters in most public spaces.

Specifically, the law says that:

  • On roads, anyone that uses an electric scooter or other powered transporter is committing the offence of driving a motor vehicle with no insurance. You could be liable for a fixed penalty of £300 and six points on your driving licence
  • On pavements, it is an offence to drive a motor vehicle, and this applies to electric scooters and powered transporters. There are also separate laws that forbid them from footpaths and cycle routes
  • Electric scooters and powered transporters can be used on private land. However you must have permission from the landowner or occupier

Some of these laws do not apply to mobility scooters or e-bikes (electrically-assisted pedal cycles), which are not treated as motor vehicles.

From the Department of Transport:

The law on using lightweight transport vehicles which transport one...

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I wasn't aware that they're illegal until I googled the subject a couple of months ago after one of them came around a blind corner at speed on the pedestrian and cycle route between Hornsey and Wood Green and collided with my bicycle, sending me over the handlebars. I was too shaken up to have the presence of mind to ask the scooter rider for her name and address so that I could report it to the police (most unlikely that she would have given the details anyway, I know) - thankfully, apart from a sore leg I wasn't injured - it could have been a lot worse but I only noticed the following day that the fall had damaged the gear fittings on the bicycle and there was no comeback.  

Since that incident I've noticed even more so than previously how many of them are around on the roads and pavements, whizzing past startled pedestrians and breaking traffic lights - some of the riders don't even wear helmets. It's a ridiculous state of affairs.

It really doesn't matter if they are illegal or not. People don't care ( except their victims ).

This is such a shame, because they really are a great mode of transport. 

I guess London (or the UK in general) just isn't the place for them, for a number of reasons.

Sadly too true - in the same way that a lot of cyclists don't care about traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.

Yes ... <sigh>
And some people would like more children to walk to school?
And how about older or disabled people for whom the pavements used to be relatively safer? Apart the odd broken or rocking paving stone.

Not an appealing prospect, is it?

I believe you are acquainted with a Councillor Alan. Maybe more than one ?

Please don't say that their remit doesn't include enforcing the Law. They can bring more weight to bear on the police than can the ordinary citizen.

I'm acquainted with several councillors, John. But I don't think councillors should be telling the police how to allocate their time and rank priorities.

You are also in the same position as me if you wish to ask the local police their views and actions in respect of electric bikes and scooters.

I'm suggesting we seem to be in a transition phase where technical advance appears to be posing a new set of problems and challenges to how we get safely and peacefully around our towns and cities.

At minimum there's a blurring of the boundaries between pedal-powered  bikes and mopeds. Maybe I'm wrong and the change isn't as significant as I think. After all, the little buzzing Italian "Vespa" (named after "wasp") soon became part of the normal hazards of stepping outside your home.

While for good reasons, parents' fears of their child being stabbed in the street currently seem a lot greater.

Even so, I hope that there's some urgent expert research going on which looks at problems posed by powered bikes and scooters. And which comes up with potential solutions before we get a surge in injuries and deaths.

Or a less detectable surge: in the "invisible" consequences of the fears they provoke - many more people staying indoors. Or feeling that they or their children require the safety of a car to go anywhere.

" But I don't think councillors should be telling the police how to allocate their time and rank priorities. " 

And there we disagree.

No debate; no discussion? No partnership? No listening to the judgements of police officers at the local and senior level?

And not even asking their views and experience as the take-up of electric powered bikes and scooters increases? Aren't you curious at the very least to make that your starting point?

The police are of course free to ignore the concerns of local residents as conveyed to them by the Council. But they should at least be made aware of the serious level of concern and I think it is the duty of Councillors, as our representatives, to engage with the police on this matter.

Nilgun Canver, John. 

Not wearing a helmet? Wow...

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