Safety fears over scooter trial in Canterbury

Canterbury residents have expressed safety fears over the Bird scooter trial, which was implemented in November last year to help cut congestion and harmful emissions.

It is legal to ride the scooters on public roads and pavements as they are rented, however privately owned e-scooters are illegal on the roads.

Residents worry that the increased use of these scooters poses a safety risk, especially for elderly and vulnerable people, as permits are not required.

credit: Bird

Outraged resident Paul MJ said: “I’m both angry and very concerned that the council have ignored health and safety guidelines in allowing this scheme to start.

“My elderly mother was almost knocked down by one and my friend’s mother made the front page of the Gazette last year when she was knocked down and almost incapacitated.

“Elderly people and small children do not have the same reflexes as younger people like myself and I know this scheme is going to result in accidents and anti-social behaviour.”

Other comments from Facebook users from a Canterbury Residents Group include:

“I have noticed them about as I walk all over the place including the city centre 4 or 5 times a week. So far no incidents but I don’t suppose it will be long! There is an extraordinary lack of respect from some people…so wrapped up in themselves they don’t see or care about anyone else.” – Amada Faed

“Worst thing yesterday was I was walking through town and a lad was on one whilst on his phone. Couple came walking out of one of the side streets and had to point blank stop to avoid being run over, rider was oblivious to it. Didn’t acknowledge he nearly ran people over.” – Ellison Reed

“I think it’s the way ahead and will contribute massively towards reducing the carbon footprint. However it needs to be massively regulated so as to prevent abuse and anti-social behaviour by certain individuals.” – Normski Billy

Harry Porter, who works in EMEA Communications for Bird, said, “We have regular meetings with Canterbury residential groups, and we talk to the police a lot – we’ve found that many of the complaints we’re seeing are from use of private scooters.

“The reason we know that is because the advantage you have with a shared electric scooter is that they’re all GPS connected, so we know where they are at all times.

“On the high street, you can’t ride the scooters at certain hours when its busy and they’ll just stop, and you won’t be able to go on them. In the hours that you can, we’ve limited the speed to 6mph, so they don’t go too fast.

“If someone is riding really irresponsibly, it’s very easy for us to look it up through their account and we can get in touch with that person and warn them that they can be blocked from the app. This means that we are able to ensure that irresponsible riders can’t use the service.”

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Featured image credit: Bird