Thursday 28 October 2021
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Nottingham

Nottingham’s E-scooter riders could face training and pay fines for irresponsible riding and parking

E-scooter riders caught driving on the pavements or irresponsibly in Nottingham might be forced to undergo training before they are allowed back on them.

Riders could also be handed an automatic £7:50 fine if they fail to leave their scooters in the designated parking bays after using them.

Nottingham City Council is due to decide this month whether to extend the city-wide trial of the rentable yellow ‘Wind’ electric scooters, which have divided opinion.

Concerns have been raised about some users riding too fast and in some incidents people being left badly hurt after colliding with the vehicles.

UK e-scooter trials
© westbridgfordwire.com

Supporters of the scheme say it provides an affordable and more environmentally-friendly public transport solution.

Transport Planner at the city council, Iain Turner, who oversees the Wind Scooter scheme, said the number of accidents was relatively low in number, with up to six or seven a month.

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Common incidents include E-scooters riding on the pavement and then crossing into a road where a car is pulling in or coming into the path of a pedestrian.

He spoke to councillors and independent members of the Nottingham Local Access Forum on Wednesday, October 13, shortly before the council decides on whether to extend the scheme.

Lockdown: Nottingham City centre
© westbridgfordwire.com

Over 12 months of the scheme, the number of scooters has risen from 50 to 750, with 35,000 members signed up and 5,000 rides taking place a day.

Mr Turner said: “It has not been plain sailing. The parking issue has reduced but pavement riding has increased due to the increased usage.

“There are many times where people are saying this scooter is being rode incorrectly and there is a real fear from pedestrians, especially those with mobility or visual impairment.”

Mr Turner said the council now has six members of staff targeting hotspots for pavement riding or bad parking and there is a three-strike discipline process.

A first strike is a warning text message, the second is a one-week ban, and the third is a complete ban.

In July, it was reported that 12 people have received permanent bans – and 40 people have been banned temporarily.

Almost 1,000 people have also been given warnings.

Mr Turner said a £7.50 fee will be handed to riders who leave any scooter abandoned or even outside a parking bay and not inside it.

He said a number of ‘no go’ or ‘slow go’ areas have been introduced as part of the scheme, including by the canal, around Nottingham College, parks and the city centre.

If the scheme is extended, Mr Turner said the council will be looking to increase fines for those who don’t ride them responsibly.

Mandatory training will also need to be completed for anyone who receives a second warning in the future, which currently is just a one-week ban.

Talking about how popular the scheme was with young people in the city, he said: “For a lot of these people it is their first time. They have not really cycled around the city. They do not know what the road signs mean.

“We are looking for a platform of online training and quizzes. What you have to do, like cycling proficiency.”

Cllr Linda Woodings (Lab) said she welcomed the extension of a pilot but understood the concerns from residents including those with sight and mobility issues.

She was also in favour of mandatory training for those warned of their bad behaviour.

Committee member Chris Thompson said: “What are the police doing? There needs to be some way of controlling the anti-social behaviour. They are looking at cars why can’t they do them for these scooters? It is a disgrace.”

Mr Turner said community protection officers have worked in areas where problem riders have been reported, which includes days of action.

The Nottingham Local Access Forum also decided to set up a sub-group to look more closely at the way the scheme was being run and to suggest future improvements.

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