Photographic evidence of the ‘shocking state of the rentable e-scooters’ in Nottingham, Birmingham, Northampton and Liverpool was handed into the Prime Minister on 9 September 2021, by the National Federation of the Blind of the UK.
The photos show the tread worn away from the tyres, helmets dented and split, and ID number plates missing.
66 Wind e-scooters were photographed on the 20 August 2021 – 70 were seen however on closer inspection 4 of those with no ID were duplicate ones.
25 (38%) of the tyres appear to be not fit for purpose
16 (24%) had no ID plates
60 helmets observed all had some damage ranging from cracked and split helmets, to severely dented helmets, to dents, scratches and cracks in the foam material. (4 were not photographed).
2 had no helmets
A number had broken reflectors / lights
Department for Transport Standard for E-scooter Tyres
‘Tyres may be of either pneumatic or non-pneumatic construction. The tyre shall be suitable having regard to the use to which the e-scooter is being put.
‘Any pneumatic tyre shall be so inflated as to make it fit for the use to which the vehicle is being put.
‘The tyre shall be maintained in such condition as to be fit for the use to which the vehicle is being put and not have any defect which might in any way cause damage to the surface of the road, rider or other persons using the road’
‘Just looking at the photos taken, it can be seen that something is not right with them. It is also clear from observing people riding them, nobody is checking the tyres before jumping on to ride them. The back fender makes it impossible to check the safety of the back tyre before riding.’
‘This complete lack of regard for the riders safety is incomprehensible and adds further evidence to why the trials should be immediate suspended.’
Dangerous riding witnessed in Nottingham
Dangerous riding was witnessed in Nottingham from the users of rental and illegal e-scooters. With riders whizzing in and out of pedestrians on the pavements and people double riding the e-scooters.
This is extremely dangerous and hazardous for pedestrians who cannot move out of the way, like blind and visually impaired people, as well as vulnerable pedestrians including small children and elderly pedestrians.
It is terrifying pedestrians and it is frightening to watch just how many risks the riders are prepared to take while riding the e-scooters, very close to and in-between them at speed.
E-scooters Parked on Pavements on Public Spaces & Littered Across the City
E-scooters were witnessed parked and abandoned on the pavements. This is not safe, they are an obstruction and trip hazard on the pavement. The e-scooter is a natural trip hazard due to their shape and they simply not safe on any area where pedestrians have access too.
In Nottingham, helmets are integrated into the design of the e-scooter. Everyone observed was damaged in someway from small dents to the helmet, to those that had been totally disformed, cracked or split.
Sarah Gayton the NFBUKs Street Access Campaign Coordinator stated the following:
‘On a couple of occasions I had e-scooters ridden directly act me and stop to park the e-scooter on the pavement in the painted bays.
This was a very scary and quite shocking to experience, leaving me quite shaken as a pedestrian, while the rider just walked off as nothing had happened. Riders were also seen riding at speed in-between pedestrians on the pavements.
I witnessed riders leaving e-scooters on dropped kerbs blocking access for other pedestrians needing to get on and off the pavement at that point. I also witnessed riders leaving e-scooters on very busy pavements in the city centre and in the middle of cycle paths, which was not safe’.
‘This rider behaviour will never be safe for vulnerable pedestrians who use the pavements for their access, for toddlers, elderly people and people with no sight, who cannot get out of the way the riders who are intent in getting where they want to be regardless of who is in the way’.
‘The safety state of the e-scooter back tyres in Nottingham was very worrying. It was shocking to see the state of the back tyres, as the tyres are the only thing between the rider and the road surface, they have to be fit for purpose and any defect or tread missing could compromise this.
What was also shocking is the state of the helmets. The e-scooters can easily fall over, so it was very clear they would become damaged quite easily given their position on the e-scooter and the lack of protection they have.
Questions have to be asked on who approved this design to be used. Also questions need to be asked who approved the use of shared use helmets, as it is my understanding if a helmet is dropped or involved in an impact it must be replaced, however, with shared ones nobody knows how many times the helmet has been potentially damaged’.
‘There are clear safety issues going on in Nottingham with regard to the e-scooter trial and it needs to be immediately suspended to ensure the safety of the public’.