E-scooter trials receive over 1,000 complaints as they're blamed for hundreds of injuries

20 May 2021, 15:01

E-scooter trials are still going on in towns and cities across England
E-scooter trials are still going on in towns and cities across England. Picture: Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

The nationwide trials of rentable e-scooters started last year and could become a permanent fixture in 2022.

Trials of e-scooters in England have received 1,100 complaints and resulted in 210 injuries, a new report has found.

In summer 2020, the trials came into place across 50 towns and cities, allowing people to rent the e-scooters in a similar way the Boris Bike scheme works in London.

While it has been argued the introduction of e-scooters could cut carbon emissions across the country, the use of them in some areas have resulted in injuries and complaints.

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E-scooters could be made permanent fixtures in cities and towns next year
E-scooters could be made permanent fixtures in cities and towns next year. Picture: Getty

The Government-backed scheme has seen councils report 800 incidents and 25 collisions since the trial began.

However, the real figures could be considerably higher due to a quarter of local authorities not providing full data from the trials.

While the trial allows rentable e-scooters, using privately owned scooters on a public road, path or bike lane is still illegal.

E-scooters can reach up to 15.5mph and, like bikes, do not require any license or training to use them
E-scooters can reach up to 15.5mph and, like bikes, do not require any license or training to use them. Picture: Getty

The new data comes from a report carried out by ITV Tonight investigations, who found that there was even evidence of drunk and dangerous usage of scooters.

While rentable e-scooters are prohibited from being used on pavements, people have reported seeing them being used on pedestrian walks.

There are also some issues around where the scooters are left, as they do not need to be docked like other rentable modes of transport like bikes, meaning they can be left on the pavements.

Trials of e-scooters in England have received 1,100 complaints and resulted in 210 injuries
Trials of e-scooters in England have received 1,100 complaints and resulted in 210 injuries. Picture: Getty

One man, Phil Jones, lost his life recently after attempting to move an e-scooter off the pavement after a user left it obstructing the walking path.

His brother Dennis Jones said that Phil died from injuries sustained when he was trying to move the electrical scooter.

In an interview, Dennis said: "I just find it amazing that you can hire something and just go and leave it anywhere.

"It hasn’t been looked at correctly and it needs some form of regulation."

While the new mode of transport has been criticised by many, a spokesperson for e-scooter hire firm VOI told ITV's Tonight: "Of course with any new mode of transport you will always get some people who unfortunately don’t use it the way it is supposed to.

"They’re green, they’re flexible and they’re affordable .. our latest data has shown that 20 per cent of riders are using a VOI scooter instead of a car."

E-scooters can reach up to 15.5mph and, like bikes, do not require any license or training to use them.

In March 2022, a decision will be made over whether the rentable e-scooters become a permanent fixture in towns and cities.

The new episode of ITV Tonight investigations will air on May 20, titled 'E-scooters: Britain’s New Road Rage?'.

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