‘Genuine danger’: E-scooter abuse a ‘huge concern’ in South Gloucestershire

Police have branded the illegal use of e-scooters a “huge safety concern” in South Gloucestershire.

Staple Hill and Mangotsfield councillor Ian Boulton shared a message from police yesterday (October 5), warning against the riding of private e-scooters in public, as well as abuse of rental e-scooters.

The South Gloucestershire Neighbourhood Policing team wrote: “The message we are trying to relay to adults and also children is that if you get stopped riding a privately owned e-scooter anywhere in public, you will have the scooter seized (you will not have this returned and it will be destroyed) and either fined or reported to court.

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“They are a huge safety concern and day by day we are getting complaints from the public in relation to how they are being ridden and used in public.”

Staple Hill’s neighbourhood officers seized two “high-powered” private e-scooters during a day of action on September 26.

“One of these e-scooters, capable of speeds up to 40mph, was spotted doing a wheelie through Page Park before being stopped by officers,” the team wrote. “Please remember privately owned e-scooters are NOT road legal and are not to be used on the road, pavement or public place.”

The only e-scooters which can be used on public land in South Gloucestershire are those from the Voi rental scheme — though the policing team reminded locals that these cannot be used on pavements, or by people without a driving licence.

Mr Boulton, of Labour, told Bristol Live the e-scooter issue was discussed at a Staple Hill traders’ association meeting this morning (October 6) which he and neighbourhood police attended.

“It’s the antisocial and illegal use of [all types of] e-scooters on pavements and not following the laws of the road, but also private ones that are being used illegally on public space — it’s a double whammy,” he said.

“I don’t think anyone has any issue with the Voi scooters being ridden in a responsible manner, but it’s the irresponsible and illegal usage I’m concerned with.

“With shopfronts, and people who have got houses where doors go straight onto the pavement, you can walk out of the door and get walloped by a scooter rider. They go at such a speed that it’s a genuine danger.

“Police said they are working on publicising the action taken locally, and educating people on the repercussions of using the e-scooters incorrectly. It’s the usual story of getting everyone to report their concerns, because police will match their priorities to those concerns.”

It is not the first time Staple Hill police have issued a warning over e-scooters. In May, the team revealed they had given 13 warnings and seized three e-scooters over illegal use in a single week.

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